UAE to open an economic zone for space companies at Masdar City

The facility aims to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the space sector

Masdar City is home to several education, strategic research centres, businesses and serves as the headquarters of the UAE Space Agency. AP
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The UAE Space Agency and Masdar have teamed up to establish the country’s first space economic zone in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City in a bid to encourage the growth of SpaceTech start-ups and allow its private sector to tap into the burgeoning space industry.

The new zone will create an integrated business ecosystem to further the growth of space industry. It will create a competitive private sector, build national capabilities and contribute to the country’s economic growth, the entities said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Space is the next frontier of business growth set to propel the national economy for the next 50 years, Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said.

“This programme is a game-changer that will take our flourishing space industry to the next level while simultaneously building on the UAE’s established position as a global hub for talent, investment and innovation,” she said.

The new space economic zone will offer world-class infrastructure and an enabling environment to encourage the development of the national space industry.

It will offer businesses an integrated package of benefits including incubation, office space, mentorship, networking, investment opportunities, priority access to government contracts and closer co-operation with global research centres.

“Our aim is not only to drive entrepreneurship and economic development within the fast-growing space sector, but to attract and foster the most talented professionals from across the region and beyond,” Masdar chief executive Mohamed Al Ramahi said.

The strategic agreement between the UAE Space Agency and Masdar was signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2022.

Under the scheme, the Masdar City free zone will issue tailor-made business licences for space-related companies across the launch sector, satellite communication, logistics, data analysis, science, technology, engineering and much more, according to a media statement.

Masdar City is home to several education, strategic research centres, businesses and serves as the headquarters of the UAE Space Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The UAE Space Agency’s space economic zone programme has four key pillars – the space economy accelerator group, space labs, space government services and work space.

It aims to create a sustainable and effective framework to facilitate public-private partnerships, build an attractive and integrated business environment for local and global companies, support the growth of national space technologies and services, and stimulate innovation.

The new agreement “underpins our high-impact strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector and stimulate innovation”, Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, said.

“We are excited about this new stage of growth for the space industry which will power the UAE during our next 50 years of human progress.”

Updated: January 20, 2022, 4:15 PM