Dubai To Host The International Astronautical Congress In 2020

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Minister of State for Higher Education and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, said that hosting the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in the UAE in 2020 will highlight the outstanding status of the UAE’s national space sector. He also said that winning the bid to host the IAC represents a significant recognition and endorsement of our space industry by one of the sector’s most prominent international organisations, the International Astronautical Federation.

His Excellency further said that this achievement has been made possible through the solid partnerships and relationships that the UAE has fostered with its counterparts and advanced international space programmes.

H.E. Al Falasi also praised the team that worked on the bid for their excellent efforts in compiling an outstanding submission that highlights the achievements of the national space sector. H.E. Al Falasi went on to express his confidence that the UAE and Dubai would be an excellent host for this prominent Congress and all its participants from around the world. His Excellency noted that the event will provide a perfect opportunity for all delegates and attendees to take stock of the UAE’s historical experiences and the role of its leadership in advancing a number of fields, particularly space.

Meanwhile, H.E. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, MBRSC’s Director General, expressed his deep gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for His Highness’ gracious patronage for hosting IAC in the UAE in 2020”. Al Shaibani stressed that “under the wise guidance and vision of His Highness, the United Arab Emirates has introduced a new model in space sector development, which has made the country a leader in the international space sector.”

“Following the wise directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of MBRSC and general supervisor of all projects of the Centre and its strategic and development plans, an integrated and sustainable strategy for the space sector has been developed. We have succeeded in achieving the highest levels of excellence in the industry, research and space space,” Al Shaibani said.

“2020 is a year of symbolic significance for the United Arab Emirates. In this year, the launch of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) – Hope Probe will precede the conference. This mission confirms the strong presence of the UAE in the global space sector. We have entered the sector strongly with sustainable programmes including the EMM, the National Astronaut Programme, The Integrated Satellite Manufacturing Programme and Mars 2117 Programme,” Al Shaibani pointed out.

Al Shaibani reiterated the “Centre’s commitment to applying the highest regulatory and logistical standards for the success of the conference that will be held in coordination with the UAE Space Agency. IAC 2020 will be in line with the UAE’s history and long-standing reputation for hosting the most important international conferences,” he added.

Al Shaibani also expressed his appreciation to the local and international organisations and entities that supported the UAE’s bid, highlighting that the “MBRSC bid was supported by 39 organisations.” He commended the efforts of UAE Embassies abroad, the UAE Space Agency, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and all those who participated in achieving the win.

President of IAF, Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “The IAF is extremely excited to host the IAC in the beautiful city of Dubai for the first time. The IAF analysed thoroughly the UAE bid and it was impressed by the organizational capabilities they offer. The MBRSC seems to give the IAC the highest importance. The city of Dubai itself looks like a perfect location for congresses with easily reachable locations and beautiful scenery. I’m sure the MBRSC will do their best to welcome, host and greet all IAC 2020 attendees.”

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said: “The decision of the International Astronautical Federation to award its annual congress to UAE has once again underlined the country’s ability to attract and host major business events and the value of cooperation between key stakeholders.

He added: “Business events play a vital role in not only attracting more visitors to Dubai, but also developing the emirate as a knowledge hub, and we look forward to welcoming IAC 2020 delegates and the rich expertise and knowledge they will share in Dubai.”

Salem Al Marri; Credits: Mediaoffice Dubai

Eng. Salem Humaid Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs at MBRSC and the Chairman of the Dubai Hosting Committee for the International Astronautical Congress in 2020, said: “The IAC has a prestigious position as it is considered the most prominent conference among the world’s space events. We are confident that UAE’s hosting of the Congress in 2020 will leave an important impression in all aspects.”

Al Marri considers “hosting the IAC an important step that will have a positive impact, not only on the space sector in the UAE, but also the entire region.” He pointed out that “the conference is a platform for the global space community to exchange experiences and adopt innovative ideas that promote the global growth of the sector, as well as build ambitious new partnerships.”

Al Marri explained that MBRSC had presented the official hosting bid to the IAF, which included several elements such as extensive information on the UAE’s space sector, the proposed plan for hosting the event and a financial feasibility study. The Federation visited Dubai for a site inspection during which they were able to see the entire infrastructure including the hosting site at the Dubai World Trade Centre. He explained that “the bid file met all the requirements set by the IAF.”

Their remarks came as the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) today announced Dubai as the winning city to host the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the largest specialised conference in the global space sector, at a ceremony held during IAC 2017 that took place in Adelaide, Australia. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre will be the hosting organiser, and the event will be held in coordination with the UAE Space Agency.

Since 1950, IAF has been holding the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) annually in cooperation with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) in one of the members countries of the IAF. The IAC is one of the leading space conferences worldwide. Attendees include presidents and CEOs of international space agencies, decision makers, researchers, academics and professionals in the space sector from 70 countries.

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