Space exploration key for national security, economic growth in UAE



ABU DHABI // The UAE has invested more than Dh18 billion into its space programmes, the director general of the country’s newly-established space agency said on Tuesday.

Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi said the space market, estimated globally to be worth US$340bn (Dh1.24 trillion) in 2013 and growing at an annual rate of 7 per cent, had long been identified by the Government as a sector for development.

“The UAE space sector is considered to be the largest in the region, with a direct investment of $5bn,” Dr Al Ahbabi told the opening day of the MilSatCom conference in Abu Dhabi.

“The UAE is considered to be a hub in space and aerospace, with three major space players including Yahsat, which provides government, military, civil and commercial secure services.

“I was really happy to hear that it has become one of the top 10 satellite companies in the world in terms of revenue.”

Dr Al Ahbabi said Thuraya Telecommunications Company was another significant local player.

“It is covering two-thirds of the world,” he said. “I saw at Idex their key innovative services beyond the classic military satellite services. More info