UAE Space Agency Participates in a Series of Discussions at Aerospace 2050 on the Sidelines of Dubai Airshow

16 November 2023

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Space Debate on November 15 and 16

The UAE Space Agency participated in sessions and discussions at the Aerospace 2050, which was organised by the Abu Dhabi Space Debate (ADSD) on November 15 and 16, at the Dubai Airshow. The agency’s participation highlighted its vision and strategy to promote the space sector, and introduced the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA) and its vision to expand future strategic partnerships.

His Excellency Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency’s participated in a panel discussion entitled ‘Fostering Innovation in Space’. During the session, he highlighted key projects and programs in partnership between public and private sectors, and evaluated the impact of current cooperation programs and lessons learned for future initiatives. Dr. Walther Pelzer, Director General of the German Space Agency (DLR), Ricardo Conde, President of the Portuguese Space Agency, and Dr. Zolana Rui Joao, General Manager of the Angolan Space Program Management Office, took part in the discussion.

During the conference, His Excellency Ibrahim Hamza Al Qassim, Deputy Director General of UAE Space Agency, delivered a speech about the UAE's National Space Strategy 2030. Al Qassim also emphasised the UAE’s commitment to fostering the development of the country’s private space sector.

Mohsen Al Awadhi, Director of Space Missions Department at the UAE Space Agency, was featured in an interview about the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA) with Jane Witherspoon, Bureau Chief of the Middle East at Euronews. During the interview, Al Awadhi highlighted EMA’s role in building greater understanding of main belt asteroid characteristics, origins, formation, and evolution, and opening new windows into our understanding of the formation of our solar system.

During the interview, Al Awadhi highlighted significant economic opportunities that EMA will drive through UAE start-ups which will accelerate the growth of innovation and advanced technology, in addition to the Space Means Business campaign. He noted that over 50% of the mission will be implemented by private sector partners.

EMA is a thirteen-year mission to perform a series of close flybys to make unique observations of seven main belt asteroids. It consists of a six-year spacecraft design and development phase followed by launch and a seven-year mission to the main asteroid belt beyond Mars.

On the other hand, Abdulla Khalifa Al Marar, Head of Space Projects Section at UAE Space Agency, participated in a panel entitled ‘New space race - increased satellite launches!’. The panel highlighted the significant growth in launching satellites, the reduction in cost and increased production of nanosatellites, the improvement and increase of launch operations, and the importance of continued development and innovation in this field to ensure its sustainability.

Aerospace 2050 hosted nearly 20 interviews and panel discussions highlighting the space and aviation industry. Aerospace 2050 featured 55 speakers from 20 countries, and hosted 10 international space agencies, including the European Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency, the Mexican Space Agency, among others. It was also attended by heads of 6 international space agencies, including His Excellency Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency.

Aerospace 2050 comprises several pillars, including sustainability, NextGen, and space — organised by the ADSD. ADSD is a leading platform that brings together leaders of the global space sector, countries, and decision-makers to meet and communicate to achieve tangible agreements and address issues facing growth and innovation in the sector. In its inaugural edition in December 2022, ADSD hosted representatives of the rapidly growing space sector from around the world, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

As a strategic partner, the UAE Space Agency is leading the largest participation of the space sector in the history of the Dubai Airshow, adding to the two main pillars of the exhibition: aerospace and defence. The Space Pavilion includes areas dedicated to the Planet X Challenge and the Space Economic Zones, in addition to platforms showcasing the latest technologies and innovative solutions in the aviation industry which promote innovation and sustainability.