UAE Space Agency Board of Directors Holds First Meeting After Restructuring

15 December 2023

The meeting discussed the latest developments in space projects and initiatives

Following its restructuring according to a decree from the UAE cabinet, the UAE Space Agency Board of Directors held its first meeting. Headed by Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairperson of UAE Space Agency, the meeting discussed the strategic development of the national space sector and the latest developments in national space projects and initiatives. The meeting also highlighted the importance of promoting the UAE’s global position as a key player in the field of space.

The meeting was attended by the new board members: His Excellency Dr. Mubarak Saeed Al Jabri, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, His Excellency Omran Anwar Al Hashimi, His Excellency  Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, His Excellency Saeed Rashid Al Zahmi, His Excellency Ali Muhammad Al Neyadi, His Excellency Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai, His Excellency Masoud Muhammad Mahmoud, and Amal Abdullah Al Hammadi. 

The meeting commenced with a welcome speech from Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, where she emphasised the UAE Space Agency’s vital role in achieving national ambitions in space exploration. She also thanked the former Board Members for their efforts and valuable contributions for the term from 2020 to 2023, and welcomed the new members who will be responsible for the term from 2023 to 2026.

The meeting discussed the formation and approval of several temporary committees to regulate the national space sector. This included the Committee for Exemption from Conditions or Controls for Permitting Space Activities and Other Activities Related to the Space Sector, and the Committee for Exemption of Some Space Activities from the Requirements Included in the Regulations to Ensure Compensation for Damage to Third Parties During Space Activities. The meeting also witnessed forming a committee to investigate accidents, incidents, and procedures for proving administrative violations in the UAE cabinet’s decree No. (17/and 2) of (2023).

The members were briefed on the space quality standards policy, which includes setting the foundations, technical quality standards, and project risk management systems for space missions. This policy reflects the UAE Space Agency’s commitment to follow the best international practices and apply them in space projects.

The meeting highlighted the current status of the Space Licensing and Permits Office and the registered operators and certificates issued for non-objection to practice space activity. The latest statistics included the registration of 11 operators, the issuance of 36 non-objection certificates to practice the activity, 69 total number of registered space activities, and 18 companies.

The Board Members discussed efforts to strengthen international cooperation in space research, and stressed the importance of investing in scientific data from the Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe to enhance scientific research and technological development. They also discussed knowledge sharing with local talents and setting a time frame until 2026 to continuously work with strategic partners.

The meeting also reviewed the Hope Probe’s scientific achievements, unveiling a staggering amount of 3.3 Terabytes of atmospheric data from the red planet, and publishing more than 19 scientific and research papers in prestigious international scientific journals. The Hope Probe also succeeded in making historic achievements, as it captured unprecedented observations of the smaller Mars moon "Deimos", and new types of aurora.