UAE Participates in First GCC Space Cooperation Workshop in Riyadh

07 May 2024

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, May 2024:
HE Ibrahim AlQassim, Deputy Director General at the UAE Space Agency, led the UAE delegation to the First GCC Space Cooperation Workshop in Riyadh on May 1st and 2nd, 2024, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The objective of this initiative is to bolster collaborative efforts within the realm of space among GCC countries.

The workshop began with an introductory session highlighting the space endeavors within GCC countries, delving into the historical evolution of their respective space programs, showcasing the achievements and key entities driving space initiatives. Additionally, the session served as a platform for proposing initiatives geared towards enhancing collaboration, fostering knowledge exchange, and leveraging collective expertise in diverse scientific, technical, and research domains within the space sector.

His Excellency Ibrahim Hamza Al Qasim, Deputy Director-General of UAE Space Agency, said: "Our shared aspirations align closely, focusing on bolstering scientific research, advancing space exploration, enhancing quality of life, and catalyzing comprehensive development across diverse sectors such as the healthcare, environment, technology, industries, advanced sciences, and logistics services."

Al Qasim added: "Collaboration promises to refine the skills of our youth while boosting economic growth potential. Furthermore, it paves the way for innovative and sustainable accomplishments that align with our regional and humanitarian objectives, amplifying our collective vision for an advanced future in space science and technology. This consolidation solidifies our position in the global space arena."

Al Qasim emphasized the UAE Space Agency’s commitment to sharing insights and expertise on the future of space. Furthermore, he underscored the UAE Space Agency's eagerness to engage in discussions about collaborative projects aimed at advancing development within the space and aviation sectors, particularly among GCC nations.

During its participation in the workshop, the UAE Space Agency team offered an overview of the UAE space program and its key projects and initiatives. This includes the satellite industry, the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) Hope Probe, the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA), the Space Economic Zones Program, the Emirates Lunar Mission, and the UAE Astronaut Programme.

The delegation deliberated on the significance of space strategies and legislative frameworks, emphasizing the need for harmonized space legislation. They also explored avenues to enhance the GCC’s global presence, exchanging insights on supporting entrepreneurship and fostering private sector involvement in space endeavors. Additionally, discussions centered on streamlining access to space economic zones and formulating incentives tailored for GCC startups.
Throughout the workshop, the delegation advocated for various collaborative initiatives, including the sharing of space data, hosting a hackathon among GCC nations, facilitating educational workshops, establishing a platform for uploading research papers, fostering exchange programs for university students in STEM fields, facilitating GCC students' enrollment in the National Space Academy, and harmonizing agreements with international entities operating in the space sector.

The two-day workshop underscores the GCC countries' commitment to regional and international collaboration, recognizing its pivotal role in fostering the sustainable growth of the national space sector and promoting its peaceful uses. Furthermore, it emphasizes leveraging such cooperation to bolster economic diversification efforts and advance developmental endeavors. Moreover, the workshop serves as a platform for exchanging valuable insights and expertise on the future trajectory of space within the region, while also providing an opportunity to discuss collaborative projects aimed at nurturing progress and development in this critical sector.

Furthermore, the workshop highlighted opportunities, challenges, and areas of cooperation in training, development, and innovation, in addition to urging GCC countries to formulate a joint action plan for cooperation in space.