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Inaugural Global Space Congress to shed light on growing UAE space sector

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE Space Agency will be hosting the inaugural Global Space Congress (GSC) in Abu Dhabi.


As investments from the UAE in the space sector surpass 20 million AED, the UAE Space Agency continues with its drive towards developing international connections and increasing knowledge transfer within the industry. Therefore, the Global Space Congress (GSC), which will take place from 31 January to 1 February 2017 at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, will be a significant global platform for emerging space programmes to connect, collaborate and engage with the international space business community.


According to The Space Foundation, the global space industry is worth more than $330 billion worldwide with commercial space activities making up more than 76% of the global space economy. International space players are increasingly looking towards cooperation and partnership and the UAE is leading the Middle East region in terms of driving space activities and building global space agreements.


GSC will address both upstream and downstream issues and will be one of the few international space forums being held in the region. It will work towards promoting space technology development and analysing up and coming commercial space strategies.   


H.E Dr Khalifa Al Romaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency commented: “We are excited to announce the first Global Space Congress and we believe that Abu Dhabi is well suited to host an international forum that will address the major developments happening in the space industry worldwide. Our vision is to develop an innovative and thriving space industry that allows sector leaders to collaborate and work together to achieve success and bring benefits to mankind. GSC will be the ideal opportunity for knowledge transfer and exchange of best practices and an international event of this calibre will help us in achieving our vision.”


H.E Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency added: “Our presence within the space industry is growing and we are working on creating international networks and enterprises. The Global Space Congress has developed as an evolution from The Global Space and Satellite Forum which has been held in the UAE in previous years into what will be the must attend space forum of the year. International experts in space will converge on Abu Dhabi early next year  to learn about the fast-paced changes happening in space exploration and the impact they are having. As part of our international work we are committed to engagement with high-level space organisations and it is fantastic that we are developing such associates. The Global Space Congress is central to the UAE Space Agency market development and outreach initiatives.”  


The UAE Space Agency has recently signed major MoUs with a number of international players including space agencies in UK, France, Italy, Russia, China, India and Japan. These agreements form part of UAE Space Agency’s strategy towards raising awareness of the space sector in the UAE and encouraging nationals to learn more about the industry and its importance in shaping a sustainable, diversified economy which is knowledge based rather than resource based.


Sheikha Al Maskari, Chief Innovation Officer at the UAE Space Agency explained that the region has been recognised by international space players as an area of growing endeavour and opportunity in an otherwise flat space and satellite business market. Sheikha added that the UAE is leading the trend with investments of around 5 billion USD in the last five years and many more projects in the pipeline, including the Mars Hope Probe Mission. 


Nick Webb, Managing Partner of Streamline Marketing Group, the event organisers, commented: “The industry is undergoing a massive shift wherein there is a significant private sector role and involvement in space technology research and development and business. The event will connect new space business ventures with traditional players and seeks to find opportunity for new firms. GSC is a perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to meet with the leaders from leading space and satellite projects from countries such as Morocco, Pakistan, India and many others. We are looking forward to welcoming the global space community to the UAE.” 

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