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On its second anniversary, UAE Space Agency reflects on its success
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ABU DHABI: The UAE Space Agency celebrates its second anniversary, reflecting on its remarkable achievement since its establishment. These successes include developing and integrating the UAE national space sector, launching the Agency’s strategy and signing several important Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with prominent global space industry players.

Established under federal law by Decree No 1 of 2014, the UAE Space Agency has a mandate to organise, regulate and support the national space sector. It also encourages the development and use of space science and technology in the country, and advises the sector in this regard. In addition, the Space Agency contributes to economic diversification and bolsters the international standing of both the UAE and its space sector through partnerships across the industry. Raising awareness about the importance of space technologies, enhancing national capabilities, and encouraging peaceful application of space research also fall within the agency’s responsibility.

A sound foundation

During this relatively short period, the Space Agency has gone to great lengths to develop the national space sector in the UAE. These efforts have included formulating the UAE National Space Policy, which is currently being reviewed by relevant parties, and finalising the UAE National Space Strategy. In May 2015, the UAE Space Agency Strategic Plan was launched in line with the UAE Vision 2021, which aims to establish the UAE as one of the world’s leading countries in time for the UAE’s Golden Jubilee when the UAE will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Strategic Plan consists of four main objectives. The first is to develop and guide a world-class national space sector that serves the country’s highest interests, contributes to a diversified national economy and supports sustainable development. The second is to promote scientific research and innovation to support the state’s scientific progress in space sciences and technologies. The third is to attract and encourage citizens to pioneer in space science and technology fields. The fourth is to build and enhance international cooperation and partnership in a manner that serves the national space sector and provides administrative services with high-quality standards and transparency.

Global recognition

In the past two years, the Space Agency has successfully established relationships with several global space industry organizations and agencies that have a common vision for space exploration. This includes signing MoU’s with NASA and the national space agencies of France, Russia, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom, among other.

The Space Agency was also successful in gaining membership to the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, making the UAE the first Arab country to join the prestigious global organization.

Further highlighting the global recognition for the UAE space program, it also attained membership of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which promotes the open access to Earth Observation data for the benefit of all humankind.

The agency has been involved in a number of high level activities within the sector, sharing its success stories and exchanging experiences with global decision makers in doing so. It participated in the International Space Forum in Colorado, where a seminar covered the latest developments of the Emirati space sector, its impact on economic growth and future strategies. It also participated in the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) meetings, where it played an important role in the global space sector and advancing international cooperation.

 In addition, the agency addressed leading organizations in the field of disaster and relief management at the Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications, participated in the MAKS 2015 aviation and space exhibition in Moscow, Russia. It has also sent delegations to the Paris Air Show, Japan Space Week and the Dubai Airshow.

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