DUBAI, – The UAE is characterised by economic stability, and benefits from a distinguished geographical location that contributes to an ease of communication, providing ingredients for success in space investment, Fatima Salem Al Shamsi, Head of Space Regulations and Policy Section, UAE Space Agency, told Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Business Forum yesterday (19 October).
The Space Business Forum’s UAE Space Sector: Why Invest in Space? Our Daily Life Through Technology discussion, part of Expo’s ongoing Space Week, brought together a panel of space experts, also including Talal Kaissi, Vice President, G42 Space, and Farhad Khan, CCO, Yahsat.
Al Shamsi highlighted that the UAE Government is keen to integrate private-sector companies into space investment, with the volume of spending in the space sector by these companies having reached 50 per cent of total spending during 2019, according to economic statistics by the UAE Space Agency.
Fatima Salem Al Shamsi said: “This is a good percentage and confirms the great interest shown by private sector companies to invest in this vital field. The UAE Government is focussing on establishing and implementing projects in the space sector that are in cooperation and partnership with the private sector. This is a strong incentive to attract national and international companies operating in the UAE to invest in the space sector, reviewing successful experiences such as Farmin, a technology company using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to monitor crops that was supported by the UAE Space Agency and Krypto Labs in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.”
Al Shamsi stressed that the UAE Government is keen to encourage women to work in and engage with the space sector, adding that Emirati women occupy prominent positions in the UAE Space Agency, especially in terms of policy development.
She also highlighted that the upcoming International Space Conference (ISC), in the presence of a number of space agencies and major international companies in the field, is an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge in the space sector.
Al Shamsi praised Expo 2020 as a global platform for exchanging experiences and building partnerships in various sectors between countries around the world.
Ahmed AlDarei, Space Technology Researcher, UAE Space Agency, who moderated the discussion, said: “The volume of the UAE’s investments in the space sector during the past four years amounts to AED 9 billion, and there are approximately 70 companies working in the space sector, which confirms the leadership and success of the UAE. The UAE Space Agency, in cooperation with strategic partners, is currently working on a set of scientific programmes to facilitate and enable the private sector to invest in the space sector.”