The Dubai Airshow’s Space Pavilion is expected to get special attention this year in wake of the UAE’s involvement in the global space sector in recent months.
This year the UAE partnered with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan and Kuwait to form the Arab Space Cooperation Group with the shared goal of advancing the region’s space industry.
The UAE reached another historic milestone as Hazzaa Al Mansoori became the first Emirati astronaut to reach space in September.
Al Mansoori stayed at the ISS for eight days, studying the effects of microgravity compared with gravity on Earth.
The Middle East’s investment in space is not limited to the UAE, with Saudi Arabia announcing the establishment of a national space agency led by HH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; the first Arab astronaut into space in 1985 who assisted in the deployment of the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation with NASA.
The University of Kuwait has also been involved in specific projects directly with NASA and the KISR (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research) has alluded to the potential of a home-grown agency.
The Dubai Airshow will have a strong focus on the space sector again in 2019, with an exhibition area and two conferences produced in collaboration with the UAE Space Agency: Women in Space and Tech Talks.
The two conferences will focus on promoting global collaboration to deliver economical access to space, future missions and projects within the GCC while providing a global outlook into investment and innovation.
Keynote speakers include H.E. Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, Chairman, UAE Space Agency; Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs; Dan Hart, President and CEO, Virgin Orbit; and Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Col. Al Worden, USAF-Ret.
“This is an exciting year for the space industry in the UAE. As a nation, we are proud to have made historic advancements in the space industry propelling the nation forward,” said HE Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, director general of UAE Space Agency.
“As we progress toward a knowledge-based economy, we are eager to develop new partnerships with different aerospace entities and showcase our initiatives to interested parties from around the world at the Dubai Airshow’s Space Pavilion.”