KhalifaSat launches successfully into orbit on Monday. Courtesy Dubai Media Office
KhalifaSat launches successfully into orbit on Monday. Courtesy Dubai Media Office

What is next for KhalifaSat?

KhalifaSat has successfully launched into space in a groundbreaking moment for scientific research in the UAE.

The satellite will now remain in Low Earth Orbit for five years, taking high quality imagery of the ground below to relay to Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.

These images, of any location on the planet, will be available to the UAE government and a number of approved commercial entities both locally and internationally.

KhalifaSat’s high resolution imagery will be used for a range of purposes including urban planning, area classification, monitoring environmental change and helping relief efforts during natural disasters.

Images will be used to help develop detailed maps of selected areas and also allow major engineering and construction projects to be monitored.

KhalifaSat will also be extensively used in the field of environmental protection where it will be utilised both locally and internationally in efforts to preserve the environment.

It is expected to provide detailed imagery of the ice caps in both the North and South Poles to detect the impact of global warming.


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Charles Bolden, a former Nasa astronaut who famously piloted the Columbia mission in 1986 as well as the Discovery shuttle that deployed the Hubble telescope in 1990, said the launch of KhalifaSat was a milestone for the country.

“It’s going to play a big role when we fit it in to the other constellation of Earth observing satellites from other nations,” he said.

“KhalifaSat will be one more link in the chain of helping us understand our environment by looking at the effects that temperature increases are causing on the increased severity of weather.

“It’s an incredible satellite that’s going to help us with water resources management, crop development in the region as well as around the world.”

Mr Bolden, who was the Nasa administrator from 2009 until 2017 and now acts as a special space envoy, said that KhalifaSat will make a significant impact on the agricultural industry.

“It will make contributions to farmers and government officials trying to decide how we deal with disasters and the like for years to come,” he said.

KhalifaSat is now the third UAE observation satellite to enter orbit. However, Mr Bolden said it was far more advanced than previous projects.

“KhalifaSat is looking at our world in a more advanced way than DubaiSat1 or DubaiSat2,” he said.

The satellite shell of KhalifaSat is measured at just under two metres in height and less than 1.5 metres in diameter. The total mass of the spacecraft is estimated to be around 330kg.

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre, flat six-cylinder
Transmission: seven-speed PDK
Power: 510hp
Torque: 470Nm
Price: from Dh634,200
On sale: now

Where to buy art books in the UAE

There are a number of speciality art bookshops in the UAE.

In Dubai, The Lighthouse at Dubai Design District has a wonderfully curated selection of art and design books. Alserkal Avenue runs a pop-up shop at their A4 space, and host the art-book fair Fully Booked during Art Week in March. The Third Line, also in Alserkal Avenue, has a strong book-publishing arm and sells copies at its gallery. Kinokuniya, at Dubai Mall, has some good offerings within its broad selection, and you never know what you will find at the House of Prose in Jumeirah. Finally, all of Gulf Photo Plus’s photo books are available for sale at their show. 

In Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi has a beautiful selection of catalogues and art books, and Magrudy’s – across the Emirates, but particularly at their NYU Abu Dhabi site – has a great selection in art, fiction and cultural theory.

In Sharjah, the Sharjah Art Museum sells catalogues and art books at its museum shop, and the Sharjah Art Foundation has a bookshop that offers reads on art, theory and cultural history.

Crops that could be introduced to the UAE

1: Quinoa 

2. Bathua 

3. Amaranth 

4. Pearl and finger millet 

5. Sorghum


1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed


Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur

New Zealand
Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi, George Worker, Glenn Phillips, Matt Henry, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The Witcher - season three

Director: Various

Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra



Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The stats

Ship name: MSC Bellissima

Ship class: Meraviglia Class

Delivery date: February 27, 2019

Gross tonnage: 171,598 GT

Passenger capacity: 5,686

Crew members: 1,536

Number of cabins: 2,217

Length: 315.3 metres

Maximum speed: 22.7 knots (42kph)

A meeting of young minds

The 3,494 entries for the 2019 Sharjah Children Biennial come from:

435 – UAE

2,000 – China

808 – United Kingdom

165 – Argentina

38 – Lebanon

16 – Saudi Arabia

16 – Bangladesh

6 – Ireland

3 – Egypt

3 – France

2 – Sudan

1 – Kuwait

1 – Australia

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