First pan-Arab space organisation formed in Abu Dhabi

The first project the group will work on will be a satellite

Powered by automated translation

The first pan-Arab organisation for space collaboration was formed in the UAE on Tuesday.

On the first day of the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi, 11 countries signed a charter to establish a new body that seeks develop the region’s space sector.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced the formation of the new organisation in a series of tweets, saying the group's first project will be a satellite,named 813, that will monitor climate change.

The satellite, named after the year the House of Wisdom was founded in Baghdad and the School of Astronomy was opened during Al Mamun era, will be developed by Arab scientists in the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed said.

"The House brought together scientists, translated knowledge and became a place for region to unleash its scientific energy," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed also said he had faith in the capabilities of the Arab mind.

"Our region is a civilisation. Our youth are builders of civilisations. We must all believe in this principle," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid attending the opening day for the congress, in its second year, and toured the exhibition, where he was also briefed on the UAE Space Agency’s projects.

During the keynote speech, Dr Ahmad Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said the global space sector is witnessing a new phase of development driven by technological breakthroughs. He said the entry of many new players into the sector has led to an increase in demand for space related services, reported state news agency Wam.

The Global Space Congress, organised by the UAE Space Agency, is the largest gathering of global space industry leaders in the Middle East and North Africa.