How the UAE plans to become a leading space power in the region

Country's space agency plans to excel further through public-private partnerships - similar to how Nasa evolved

The global rise of the private space sector has helped show how governments cannot go it all alone when reaching for the stars and it is no different for the UAE.

Over the next decade, the Emirates plans to invest more than Dh3 billion ($816 million) in the private space sector to grow the country’s capabilities in space.

Economic zones dedicated to space activities will be set up across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah to allow start-ups and established businesses to set up operations.

Officials hope this would help the country become a major space power in the region, with a well-developed ecosystem consisting of public and privately led projects — similar to how Nasa has harnessed the power of the thriving privately owned space companies in the US.

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Recently, we announced a collaboration with Masdar City in Abu Dhabi to establish the first space economic zone. We’re hoping to establish a second in Dubai and a third in Sharjah
Ibrahim Al Qasim, deputy director general of the UAE Space Agency

In an exclusive interview with The National, Ibrahim Al Qasim, deputy director general of the UAE Space Agency, laid out plans for growing the private space sector.

“What this means is you will see more companies established and more of them plugging into these space economic zones, seeking