Thanks to its space program, the UAE offers a model of a country that overcame the impossible and managed to achieve, within a short span of few years, what took decades for other nations. It breathtakingly materialized dreams on the ground and inspired nations to follow the track of development and prosperity. This milestone embodies the story of a nation endowed with a wise, ambitious, determined and forward-looking leadership, guiding the country on the path of success and achievements. The success of the UAE’s space endeavor is a fruit of the vision of the UAE’s leadership which geared efforts to make the Emirati people the happiest on earth. The same patriotic people embraces the leadership with steadfast loyalty sparing no efforts to serve the nation and maintain its standing, glory and prosperity.
The space program is a key lever of scientific development, training and research. It requires significant expertise in mathematics, physics, space science and electrical and computer engineering as well as advanced laboratories and state-of-the-art industrial plants and huge industrial innovation potential. It also implies colossal financial investments and the ability to seal partnerships with leading scientific and research institutes. The UAE passed all these tests within a short span of time. It managed to meet all these requirements offering propitious conditions that enabled its space program to take off successfully and to become a source of inspiration.
In late September, the UAE sent to orbit MeznSat, a satellite developed by UAE students who, themselves, will monitor the data it collects. The next day, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of a new mission to unexplored areas on the moon by 2024 using a UAE-built satellite. With this mission, the UAE will be the first Arab country and the fourth in the world to take part in moon explorations. Later in the day, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, Mohammed al-Ahbabi said that seven UAE satellites are currently being developed.
Today, two decades after the first UAE’s first step to launch its space program, we have a robust legislative framework represented by the UAE Space Law and a carefully-elaborated future plan embodied by the UAE National Space Policy and the National Space Strategy 2030 as well as specialized and well-founded bodies, namely the UAE Space Agency and The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, in addition to successful firms such as Al Yah Satellite Communication Company and the Thuraya Communications Company. The UAE, which boasts a rich human capital of qualified and well-trained Emiratis in advanced space engineering, has invested 22 billion dollars in the promising space sector, which it sees as a key driver of the knowledge economy.
The horrific scene which we have watched on televisions showing thousands of desperate Afghan people clinging to moving US aircrafts at Kabul airport trying to flee the Taliban government which …