Abu Dhabi to host 45 countries for space debate

The debate will be held under the patronage of the UAE President in Abu Dhabi on December 5 and 6.

Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency and Chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate Committee confirmed that the UAE under the leadership of President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the directions of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai adopts space sciences as a fundamental pillar to continue the development and create new future opportunities to improve people’s lives.

She said that the achievements and projects in the science and space sector have enhanced the world’s confidence in the UAE and its capabilities in science.

This came during a press conference announcing the details of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate which will be held in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The debate held on December 5 and 6, 2022, will witness the participation of international leaders and countries active in the field of space, in addition to a group of experts and influential and public figures in the sector.

The first edition of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate is to host representatives of the world’s fast-growing space industry together with the President of Israel Isaac Herzog and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

During the press conference, Sarah Al Amiri confirmed that the UAE has made significant achievements in the space sector and has become one of the leading countries in the region to adopt space sciences.

She added: “The UAE now owns 19 orbital satellites, 10 new spacecraft under development, and more than 50 international and emerging space companies, institutions and facilities, five research centres for space sciences, in addition to three university programmes in space sciences. There are more than 3000 workers, engineers and experts working in the UAE space sector. The UAE has become the fifth country to reach Mars as the Hope probe entered orbit in February 2021.”

Al Amiri stated that the Abu Dhabi Space Debate represents a platform that brings together leaders and policymakers in the space sector. “The debate will discuss three main topics, sustainability, access and security of space through more than 35 sessions, ministerial dialogues, workshops and inspiring speeches. The global debate attracts more than 300 representatives of space agencies, leaders of military institutions and space forces in the sector,” she added.

“More than 45 countries will participate in the debate, along with 35 space agencies from the UAE, Colombia, the Philippines, Italy, Romania, Singapore, Rwanda, Poland, Norway, France, and the European Space Agency, in addition to 77 companies from the private sector and a number of research institutes and academics specialized in the space sector,” she affirmed.

Abu Dhabi Space Debate aims at unifying visions and ideas, reviewing the most important challenges, and coming up with a common and unified vision. It also aims at discussing global needs in strategic capabilities, services, infrastructure, laws and basic resources, in order to enhance the continuity of development projects and stimulate support for the government and private space programmes, to benefit the world and humanity.

Omran Sharaf, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Advanced Science and Technology portfolio, Director of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and member of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate Committee affirmed that the UAE is a major supporter of space sciences related industries. He said: “The UAE has established its global position among the most important active countries in space through its remarkable achievements in the field, and is keen to enhance international cooperation in the exploration and the peaceful use of outer space.”

He noted that the country’s foreign policy has succeeded in activating its role in international and important forums at the global level, based on its belief in the importance of international cooperation and universal and equal access to outer space.

The debate will highlight the new geopolitics of space, by strengthening international law to benefit from the sector and how to control and prevent an Arms Race in Outer Space. In addition, the debate aims at achieving a balance between the fair use of space assets and securing its protection, in conjunction with the transformation of strategic capabilities into economic opportunities.