The UAE embassy in Washington, D.C. hosted more than 400 of the international space industry’s top executives, government officials and representatives, including Dr. Mohamed Aljunaibi, Executive Director of Space Sector of UAE Space Agency during Satellite 2018.
Senior representatives from other UAE space entities, including Eng. Salem Humaid Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC); Ahmed Ali Al Shamsi, Acting CEO and CTO of Thuraya Telecommunications Company; and Ali Al Hashemi, GM of YahService, the managed services business entity of Yahsat also attended the event.
Dr. Aljunaibi began his speech at the reception by highlighting the importance of the Year of Zayed and the impact the nation’s founder on the space sector.
“Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan was famous for his drive, determination, strategic vision and giving. These are some important pillars that our space programme is based on and by which we are influenced. Sheikh Zayed met with the Apollo mission representatives in February 1976 and as with so many, for the UAE, the dreams of space began early.”
He went on discuss the significant achievements of the UAE Space Agency since its founding in 2014, including the signing of more than 28 MoUs with key international space sector organisations, the launch and implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan, and the successful execution of numerous projects and initiatives designed to enhance the UAE’s space capabilities and spur innovation and research.
Dr. Aljunaibi highlighted the ongoing progress of the Mars Hope Probe and Mars 2117 project as well as the rapid advancement of the UAE’s native satellite capabilities as demonstrated by the recent launch of Al Yah 3 and upcoming launch of KhalifaSat, the first satellite to be fully built by Emirati engineers in the UAE.
Dr. Aljunaibi concluded by reiterating the UAE’s commitment to cooperation and collaboration with the international space community, referencing the close relationship between the UAE and the United States.
“The United States and the UAE enjoy a vibrant and expanding bilateral relationship in the fields of space. In June 2016, NASA and the UAE Space Agency signed a strategic cooperation agreement on aeronautics research and outer space exploration working together in the peaceful use of outer space for the benefit of humanity,” said Dr. Aljunaibi.
The UAE Embassy reception took place on the sidelines of Satellite 2018, one of the world’s largest satellite industry events that brings together aerospace thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, engineers, end-users and enthusiasts.