HE Sarah Al Amiri, the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Sciences tells ‘The National’ how the sector’s growth fits into country’s Dh300bn industrial strategy.
Ms Al Amiri said the aim is to make the UAE a regional hub for the development of spacecraft systems.
The UAE’s plans to increase manufacturing and industry’s contribution to the country’s economic output to Dh300 billion over the next decade would be at the heart of efforts to develop a private space sector that would build advanced space systems and generate more job opportunities, including for overseas talent.
Ms Al Amiri spoke of how the space industry would support the economy and revealed what kind of space technology would be in focus under the industrial plan.
“As we move forward with Operation 300billion, it’s very evident that we need to have a private sector and, therefore, an industry in space. Most of the current space sector within the Emirates is focused on government spending and programmes across both local and federal governments,” she said.
“Today, we’re talking about a space sector that has an indirect impact to the economy. In five years, we want to see a space sector that has both an indirect impact to the economy, society, and also a direct impact into the economy.”
Once the industry starts to grow, it would mean access to locally manufactured space technologies. Steps are already being taken to increase public-private partnerships.
Cutting-edge space technology
Several space technologies would be in focus as the private sector grows, including instrumentation of microsatellites weighing between 100 to 250 kilograms.
Another area of focus would include designing the satellite systems and ‘brains’ of the spacecraft, such as flight software.
These are integral parts of a spacecraft that help improve performance and health.
Through the expansion of the space industry, more opportunities to be part of UAE’s and other nation’s space programmes would become available to foreign talent.
“The first thing we’re focusing on is the sustainability of that sector. Because if you want jobs and opportunities to be created, it shouldn’t be a one off thing and it shouldn’t be for it to be fully sort of driven by demand from the public sector only“, said Ms Al Amiri.
Mostly UAE citizens have employment in the space sector, but there is demand from international talent who wish to work in the Emirates as space professionals.
Read the full interview on The National.