UAE Space Industry

The space sector in the United Arab Emirates is an important economic driver and is also key for the promotion of national pride. It contributes significantly to a sustainable economy and the development of technical sciences. We witness the integration of space technologies in our daily lives and see how it helps us to enrich our knowledge of the Earth and the universe. Space sector helps with the development of national security and also heavily contributes to provide emergency aid in the event of natural disasters.

The UAE’s investments in space technologies has already exceeded AED 20 billion (USD 5.4 billion), including UAE based companies who are now among major international players. The companies include: Thuraya, Al Yah Sat and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) who have been successfully operating for many years.

The UAE currently operates more than 6 commercial satellites via milsatcom programs.

Forecasted real GDP growth will average 4% in 2015-19, supported by gains in both the oil and non-oil sectors in the UAE. Real GDP growth will be driven by increasing non-oil activity, as well as small further gains in oil production, following investment in capacity expansion.


Facts about the UAE space sector

Academic partners

  • University of Colorado, Boulder -  Laboratory For Atmospheric and Space Physics
  • University of Colorado, Boulder -  Laboratory For Atmospheric and Space Physics


Global space industry

300 billion dollars

Expected growth of global space industry 
8% annually 

Value of UAE investment in space sector  
More than 20 billion dirhams  

UAE satellites currently orbiting around the world 

  • Dubai Sat 1 (launched in 2009)
  • Dubai Sat 2 (launched in 2013)
  • Yahsat 1 (launched in 2011)
  • Yahsat 2 (launched in 2012)


UAE satellites under development 

Khalifa sat (to be launched in 2018)