Abu Dhabi: Over 300 experts to tackle space industry's challenges at conference

Two-day event set to form new global forum to address issues facing growth and innovation in sector


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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KT photo by Ismail Sebugwaawo​
KT photo by Ismail Sebugwaawo​

Published: Thu 17 Nov 2022, 6:47 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 11:43 AM

Hundreds of international space experts will gather in the UAE Capital next month to debate the space industry’s most pressing challenges and the need for international cooperation and collaboration in the development of the space sector.

The UAE Space Agency on Thursday announced that the Abu Dhabi Space Debate will take place on December 5 and 6 at Adnoc Business Center.

The two-day conference, organised by the UAE Space Agency, is set to form a new global forum for the space industry, nations, business leaders and policy makers to come together and forge real consensus and address the issues facing growth and innovation in space.

The inaugural event will host representatives of the world’s fast-growing space industry together with UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of Israel, Isaaq Herzog and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

More than 300 experts, 45 space agencies and 77 private sector companies from 35 countries will take part in the event.

"There is a huge expansion in organisations developing space capabilities and potential, but that growth in the sector brings challenges, ranging from preservation of national interests through to the regulation of private sector players,” Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency said at a press conference to announce details of the event on Thursday on the sidelines of the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi.

“The Abu Dhabi Space Debate aims to create a global platform that will bring together a diverse and challenging audience and forge concrete progress in advancing international co-operation, standards and policy-setting for the space sector."

She noted that the Emirates’ space sector alone is a vibrant and fast-growing area of economic growth, with the country operating 19 Earth-orbiting satellites with a further 10 under development.

With over 50 organisations and institutions and five research centres for space sciences and the development of a strong educational sector in space sciences, research and engineering, the Emirates has committed to long-term interplanetary exploration missions and the accelerated development of its emerging private sector space ecosystem.

Omran Sharaf, Chairman UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space said the Abu Dhabi Space Debate will act as an accelerator for discussions on the technologies, challenges and collaborations in the space sector.

“Previously, a few organisations, mostly government owned were involved in the space sector. But now there are many companies in the space technology making collaborations easy,” he said.

“The UAE is playing a crucial role in changing the space sector into collaboration with different stakeholders to work on specific space projects. This costs less and things are done in a short period of time.”

Sharaf added: “Collaborations speeds up and accelerates things and this is what the UAE is up to. Calling on governments and organisations to collaborate in the development of the space sector.”


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