The space industries sector in the United Arab Emirates has achieved a major development boom that has transformed it into one of the most prominent economic sectors that enjoy competitive advantages and promising investment opportunities capable of attracting major national and foreign companies operating in this field.
The UAE has the largest space sector in the region, and the state’s investment in space activities until October 2019 reached 22 billion dirhams / While the number of satellites that the UAE sent to space during the past two decades reached 11 satellites, including 6 satellites dedicated to communications through the two companies, Thuraya and “ Yahsat, and 4 satellites launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, specializing in photography and remote sensing, as well as in the educational field, in addition to the “MuznSat” satellite launched by the UAE last September.
And behind the investment attractiveness of the space industries sectors in the country are 4 main factors represented in official and governmental support at the highest levels, sound legislative and legal foundations that regulate the work of the space sector locally, and the advanced infrastructure such as development centers and related scientific research, in addition to the size The huge government investment in this sector, which has emerged through giant projects such as the UAE project to explore the moon, the sending of the Hope Probe to Mars, and the project to build the first human settlement on the Red Planet / Mars / until the year 2117.
The official support and encouragement of the space industries sector was a major factor in encouraging the private sector to enter strongly in this sector and work to establish ambitious projects that contribute to creating thousands of current and future job opportunities. This support and encouragement was evident on many occasions, including the reception of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the State and Ruler of Dubai, “may God protect him” yesterday, the team of the Emirati “Marshall Ink” company specialized in building satellites, and His Highness expressed his pride in this national company, which plans to send 7 satellites into space.
The UAE has been keen on laying down sound legal foundations that regulate the local space sector and contribute to directing workers in this sector on well-studied legal grounds and attracting foreign investment for those wishing to carry out space activities in the country, in addition to encouraging them to enter into partnerships with Emirati entities.
The National Space Sector Policy, the National Space Sector Strategy, the National Space Investment Plan, and the Space Sector Regulation Law are considered a road map for developing the space sector in the country.
The National Space Policy stresses the importance of the space program in continuing to develop the role of the space industry in expanding the UAE economy based on knowledge and high skills, and enhancing the contribution of the space industry to diversifying the UAE economy, in addition to developing effective methods to attract space companies and increasing investment in the UAE space industry.
The plan to promote space investment aims to achieve these trends in the national space policy by defining a high-level approach in the UAE to facilitate more investments in the country’s space industry by sustaining the growth of space companies and sectors and increasing their contribution to diversifying the national economy, expanding the knowledge economy, and supporting Other national interests, besides strengthening partnership at the national and international levels.
The space sector in the UAE is based on its rapid development and competitiveness on solid foundations. Work on preparing and constructing it began many years ago, as the UAE established an advanced and modern infrastructure for its space sector, including the construction of facilities for the development of satellites and measurement, a control network, systems for receiving and processing data and remote sensing, and establishing centers Research and scientific development of space science and projects, in cooperation with many academic and research institutions in the country.
During the past years, the UAE has made remarkable achievements in the field of space exploration, most notably the launch of the “Khalifa Sat” satellite, which was made by 100 percent Emirati hands, the launch of the Hope probe, the first Arab and Islamic probe to explore Mars, as well as a package of promising projects that it has placed on its future agenda such as the Emirates project. To explore the moon and the “Mars 2117” project, which includes building the first human settlement on the Red Planet until the year 2117, and undoubtedly, these ambitious future achievements and projects will contribute to creating many investment opportunities and strengthening the position of the Emirati space industries sector at the regional and international levels.
A study conducted on the economy of the UAE space sector in 2017, in which 22 establishments participated, showed that the growth in spending on research and development and space exploration reaches 388%, while spending on research, development and space exploration reaches 63%.
The study indicated that the growth of investment in the space sector reaches 81%, while the growth of spending on commercial space projects reaches 41%.
The study indicated that the sectors that benefit from space are 17, the most important of which are: telecommunications, energy, high-tech industries, education, tourism and entertainment, and agriculture. The total number of beneficiaries is 709 entities, 268 inside the country and 441 outside.
It should be noted that the size of the global space sector is estimated at 350 billion dollars annually, and its growth rate ranges between 8 and 9 percent annually, which is almost the same annual growth rate for the UAE space sector.