MUSCAT - The Sultanate of Oman has attracted RO 20 million worth of investments in the space sector within the last two years, according to Dr Ali al Shidhani, Under-Secretary of Communications and IT at the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology.

While speaking to Observer at the Ministry’s recent media gathering, Dr Al Shidhani stated that investments within the space sector grew after the release of the Executive Space Programme in 2023.

“As the Ministry started building momentum around space, companies from around the world started to recognize Oman as a place where there is an opportunity for space activities. And as a result, the number of space companies that were established in Oman increased in 2022 and 2023. We have counted an investment of roughly 20 million Omani riyals in the last two years within space activities,” he stated.

According to the Under-Secretary, some of the companies included local ones such as ETCO, the company behind Oman’s first satellite Aman-1, and NASCOM, which is building the first spaceport in the MENA region in Duqm. Others are international companies, notably SatMENA, that have established a base in Oman.

Dr Al Shidhani also shared that some non-space companies have ventured into the space sector. “Some of the activities are driven by other technology companies. For example, Omantel, who have also opened up a new line of business for them in the space sector.”

Moreover, the Ministry is currently developing 5 to 6 space projects out of 14 projects identified in the programme. These include a space cloud partnership, a space accelerator, a public satellite, and a global space conference, the Under-Secretary said.

In 2023, Oman witnessed significant developments in its space sector. The first Omani satellite, Aman-1, successfully launched in November following a failed attempt earlier in the same year. NASCOM also announced plans to build the first spaceport in the MENA region in al Duqm. Additionally, the Global Space and Technology Company revealed the creation of Zone 88, a "scientific and economic area dedicated to space sciences and industries," which will include multiple space projects such as a space habitat center and a ground launch station.

Furthermore, earlier this year, ETCO Space announced plans to launch a joint venture project to manufacture satellites in Oman.

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