Report: UAE among first in Arab world to launch satellite for trade and investment purposes

UAE investments in the field of space technology currently surpass AED20 billion, about USD5.5 billion.


ABU DHABI, 2nd February, 2016 (WAM) -- The Future Centre for Advanced Researches and Studies, FARAS, has revealed that the UAE is one of the first Arab countries to enter the race to launch satellites for commercial and investment purposes, according to a recent report.

FARAS added that the space sector, and the field of space exploration in the country, is one of the most important engines of the economy, saying that UAE investments in the field of space technology currently surpass AED 20 billion, about US$ 5.5 billion.

In a report prepared by Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Al Muti, a specialist researcher in international economic development, the centre noted that the UAE launched the first Al-Yah satellite in 2011, and it is likely that it will have launched 18 satellites by no later than 2018. The UAE will also will get high-performance satellite systems to monitor the ground under several contracts recently concluded.

He added that the Dubai government established the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre last year, an essential element in the strategic initiative developed by the government to encourage scientific innovation and technological progress, as well as the advancement of sustainable development in Dubai in particular, and the UAE in general.

The report said that the UAE announced the establishment of the UAE Space Agency and has been working on a project to send the first Arab and Islamic unmanned probe to Mars, led by an Emirati team, in a scientific expedition to the Red Planet by 2021, and will become the ninth country in the world with space programmes to explore the Red Planet.

The country currently has Al-Yah Satellite Communications, a satellite data and television broadcast company, mobile satellite communication company, Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications, and Earth Mapping and Observation system, Dubai Sat.

The researcher said that Arab countries have recently begun working on finding their place in the field of space economies, pointing out that Egypt was among the first Arab countries that launched satellites, with Nilesat 1 in 1998 and Nilesat 2 in 2000.

The report pointed out that the value of the world's space economies amounted to nearly US$330 billion at the end of 2014, showing a growth rate of more than nine percent compared to 2013, which was estimated at about $US 302.5 billion. This economic pattern contributes to the recruitment of about one million people around the world, with an average annual wage of approximately US$110,000 per person.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2016.

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