RIYADH - A delegation from the UAE Space Agency participated in a workshop entitled "Cooperation in space between GCC countries," in the first week of May in Riyadh.

During the workshop, the delegation - headed by Ibrahim Hamza Al Qasim, Deputy Director-General of UAE Space Agency - proposed sharing space data, holding a hackathon among the GCC countries, organising educational workshops, creating a platform to upload research papers, exchanging or attracting university students in STEM fields, paving the way for Gulf students to join the National Space Academy, and unifying agreements with international entities working in the space sector.

The UAE Space Agency team also gave an overview of the UAE space programme and its key projects and initiatives. This included the satellite industry, the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) Hope Probe, the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA), the Space Economic Zones Programme, the Emirates Lunar Mission, and the UAE Astronaut Programme.

The workshop featured an introductory session on space in the GCC countries, including an overview of each country's space programmes and their achievements. During the session, initiatives were proposed to foster cooperation in various scientific and technical aspects and research in space.

The UAE Space Agency Deputy Director-General commented, "We share goals and objectives, all of which fall within the scope of supporting scientific research and space exploration, improving quality of life, and enabling a comprehensive development renaissance across various sectors, including the economy, health, environment, and technology."

Al Qasim added, "Cooperation will contribute to improving our youth's skills and increasing the attractiveness of economic growth. It will also allow us to make innovative and sustainable achievements that serve our regional and humanitarian goals and enhance our common vision towards a prosperous and advanced future in space science and technology. Thus, this consolidates our position on the global space map."

Al Qasim stressed the UAE Space Agency's commitment to sharing experiences about the future of space and discussing joint future projects to bolster development in the space and aviation sectors, especially across the GCC countries.

The delegation discussed the importance of space strategies and legislation, unifying space legislation, the Gulf presence globally, sharing experiences in supporting entrepreneurship and the private sector in space, facilitating access to space economic zones, and developing a package of incentives for Gulf startups.

The two-day workshop reflects the GCC countries' belief in the importance of regional and international cooperation to ensure the sustainable development of the national space sector and its peaceful uses and to enhance its contribution to economic diversification and development efforts. It also highlights opportunities to exchange expertise on the future of space regionally and discuss future projects to nurture progress in this vital sector.