Blast off: A major space conference is heading to Abu Dhabi


The two-day event is organised by the UAE Space Agency, the two-day conference.

With the UAE’s Hope Probe recently making a major discovery on Mars, and not to mention a host of previous and commendable space achievements, it will come as no surprise that the UAE capital has been chosen to host a debate defining the future of the global space sector.

Reported by WAM, the UAE National News Agency, the new global forum that takes place later this year and aptly named the Abu Dhabi Space Debate has been formed after a pressing need for international co-operation and collaboration in the development of the space sector among a growing number of young nations and the proliferation of private sector players developing space capabilities.

Under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi Space Debate global forum is set to take place on the 5 and 6 December, 2022.

Organised by the UAE Space Agency, the two-day conference is set to form an important new global forum for the space industry, nations, business leaders and policy makers to come together and forge real consensus and address the issues facing growth and innovation in space.

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “The UAE is proud to be hosting the Abu Dhabi Space Debate in December.

“The event is a platform to facilitate dialogue and aims to strengthen cooperation, formulate new international policies and develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in the global space sector.”

The Abu Dhabi Space Debate sets out to provide a platform for leaders and policy makers from the space sector around the world to review the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and aims to advance not only global dialogue and collaboration between nations but also forge concrete alliances, multilateral agreements and provide a platform to advance the sector as a whole.

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chair of the UAE Space Agency and the Abu Dhabi Space Debate Committee, said:

“We are seeing a huge expansion in organisations developing space capabilities and potential, but that growth in the sector brings challenges, ranging from preservation of national interests through to the regulation of private sector players.

“The Abu Dhabi Space Debate aims to create a global platform that will bring together a diverse and challenging audience and forge concrete progress in advancing international co-operation, standards and policy-setting for the space sector.”


Space Debate Abu Dhabi Uae


The Emirates’ space sector alone is a vibrant and fast-growing area of economic growth, with the country operating 19 Earth-orbiting satellites with a further ten satellites under development.

With over 50 organisations and institutions and five research centres for space sciences and the development of a strong educational sector in space sciences, research and engineering, the Emirates has committed to long-term interplanetary exploration missions and the accelerated development of its emerging private sector space ecosystem.

“As we implement our long-term ambitions in space, the first steps of which are clearly outlined in our National Space Strategy 2030, we cannot over-emphasise the importance of international collaboration to our plans, Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri said.

“Our space programme has been built on such collaboration, with partners in Europe, South Korea, the US, Japan and elsewhere. We have been keen to embrace international efforts to work together on common goals and objectives, and we’re committed to supporting efforts from the Artemis Accords to the United Nations Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities. This Debate will form an important element of that commitment.”

The first edition of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate is set to gather leaders and policy makers in the public and private space sector from around the world and in particular China, Europe, India, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

With a proliferation of new nations eying space capabilities and a fast-growing global private sector developing, the new platform comes at an important time in the expansion and growth of the human exploration of space.

Image source WAM and Canva

Derek Issacs

A Brit in the Middle East for 25 years and counting, Derek loves scouring the streets for those under-the-radar cultural gems. And when he’s not putting Yalla – Abu Dhabi magazine to bed, you’ll find him working out at the gym.