The UAE Space Agency and the Saudi Space Commission met on the sidelines of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 10 January 2020, where both parties officially activated their Memorandum of Understanding that was initially signed last year.
The activation ceremony was presided over by Dr. Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, acting CEO and Managing Director of the Saudi Space Commission, and Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency. Nasser Al Hammadi, Head of Organisations and International Relations at the UAE Space Agency, was also in attendance.
As well as activating their cooperative MoU, both parties also briefed each other on space developments in their respective countries, discussed future strategy and cooperative space projects, and the development of mechanisms to enhance the work of the Arab Space Coordination Group.
The United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed the space cooperation MoU in late November 2019 during a bilateral summit between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the second Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council meeting in Abu Dhabi.
At that meeting Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated, “The deep-rooted ties between the two countries are clearly reflected on the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council’s vision, which aligns with the national strategies of both countries and the marked harmony between the Saudi Vision 2030 and the UAE Vision 2021.”
Both the Saudi Vision 2030 and the UAE Vision 2021 identify the space sector as playing a significant role in diversifying the economies of both countries away from their reliance on hydrocarbons.