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UAE Cabinet approves UAE national space policy

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (centre) presides over the UAE Cabinet meeting held in Abu Dhabi on 3 September 2016, that approved the UAE national space policy. Photograph courtesy of WAM.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (centre) presides over the UAE Cabinet meeting held in Abu Dhabi on 4 September 2016, that approved the UAE national space policy. Photograph courtesy of WAM.

The Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) approved the country’s national space policy during a session held in Abu Dhabi on 4 September 2016.

The UAE national space policy will provide high-level political and strategic guidance to the UAE Space Agency and its efforts to establish the Emirates as a regional leader and hub for space activities.

The Cabinet meeting was presided over by the UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“Our ambition has no limits, and developments are ongoing to achieve our aspirations. We have the largest regional operator in the field of space transport, largest international companies in space insurance, a regulatory and legislative environment and various research centres that will ultimately benefit our people and all of mankind,” said Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, according to the Gulf News, a UAE English-language newspaper.

“We have the economic foundations, a comprehensive infrastructure and the capabilities of Emiratis and others that made the UAE capable of exploring space prior to the golden jubilee of the UAE’s establishment. The founder of the UAE had a sharp vision for ushering in the future. This was proved when he received a delegation from the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] back in 1976, conveying a message to the people in the UAE, region and the world that the UAE’s aspirations has no limits,” added Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid.

The UAE’s golden jubilee takes place in 2021, commemorating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1971 after a long period of British rule. To mark the golden jubilee the UAE is building and launching its Hope Mission to Mars, a spacecraft that will enter Mars orbit in 2021 to study the Martian climate and weather patterns.

Further to its high-profile Mission to Mars, the UAE is quietly building the foundations of an advanced space programme that will help diversify the Emirati economy, provide sustainable and long-term careers for Emirati engineers and scientists, as well as support wider Emirati social, foreign, and security policy goals for the coming decades.

The new national space policy should provide the UAE Space Agency with the policy guidance it needs to establish a vibrant commercial space sector, define roles and missions of relevant government departments and agencies, UAE Space Agency long-term goals, and guidance for establishing international partnerships, among other things.

What is not certain, however, is whether the UAE’s national space policy – or a version of it – will be released to the public.

Original published at: http://spacewatchme.com/2016/09/uae-cabinet-approves-uae-national-space-policy/

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