UAE Space Agency Showcases Growth of National Space Sector at UAE Embassy Reception

25 March 2018

On the sidelines of Satellite 2018, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C. hosted more than 400 of the international space industry’s top executives, government officials and representatives, including Dr. Mohamed Aljunaibi, Executive Director of Space Sector at the UAE Space Agency.

Also in attendance during the reception were senior representatives from other UAE space entities, including Eng. Salem Humaid Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC); Ahmed Ali Al Shamsi, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Thuraya Telecommunications Company (Thuraya); and Ali Al Hashemi, General Manager of YahService, the managed services business entity of the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat).

Dr. Aljunaibi began his speech at the reception by highlighting the importance of the Year of Zayed and the impact the nation’s founder has had on the space sector, “Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan who was famous for drive, determination, strategic vision and giving.  These are some important pillars that our space programme is based on and influenced by. Sheikh Zayed met with the Apollo mission representatives in February 1976 and as with so many, for the UAE, the dreams of space began early.”

He went on discuss the significant achievements of the UAE Space Agency since its founding in 2014, including the signing of more than 28 Memorandums of Understanding with key international space sector organizations, the launch and implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan, and the successful execution of numerous projects and initiatives designed to enhance the UAE’s space capabilities and spur innovation and research.

Dr. Aljunaibi highlighted the ongoing progress of the Mars Hope Probe and Mars 2117 project as well as the rapid advancement of the UAE’s native satellite capabilities as demonstrated by the recent launch of Al Yah 3 and upcoming launch of KhalifaSat, the first satellite to be fully built by Emirati engineers in the UAE.

Finally, Dr. Aljunaibi spoke about the UAE’s commitment to cooperation and collaboration with the international space community, referencing the close relationship between the UAE and the United States.

“The United States and the UAE enjoy a vibrant and expanding bilateral relationship in the fields of space. In June 2016, NASA and the UAE Space Agency signed a strategic cooperation agreement on aeronautics research and outer space exploration working together in the peaceful use of outer space for the benefit of humanity,” said Dr. Aljunaibi.

The UAE Embassy reception took place on the sidelines of Satellite 2018, one of the world’s largest satellite industry events that brings together aerospace thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, engineers, end-users and enthusiasts.