The UAE Space Agency, UAESA, concluded last week in Abu Dhabi the first national workshop on measuring the space economy, according to Emirates news agency WAM.
The Agency organized the workshop in collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, FCSA, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD. It was attended by Ministry of Economy, local statistics centers and local economic authorities. The three-day workshop centered on assisting the government and private sector in identifying the statistical contours of the space sector better, while investigating the economic significance of space activities, innovation, and the sector’s potential impact on the nation’s socio-economic development as a whole.
Commenting on the workshop, Dr. Mohamed Al Junaibi, Executive Director Space Sector at UAESA, said: “The total global space economy today is estimated at over US$350 billion, with business revenues accounting for more than 76% of this sum. Global reports show that interest in the space sector is rising globally, with a growing role for the private sector.”
“The UAE has invested an estimated more than AED22 billion (US$ 6 billion) in space projects, successfully establishing a strong and diversified space sector,” he continued, adding that the UAE is home to several pioneering and competitive institutions in the field of satellite communications and satellite broadcasting, such as Yahsat and Thuraya, in addition to four research and development centers specializing in space science and technology.
Dr. Al Junaibi went on to say that the "UAE has advanced centers specializing in Earth observation and remote sensing, such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC, and the Space Reconnaissance Centre, SRC. The country’s wise leadership has also launched four ambitious projects related to space science and exploration in the past four years, which have successfully placed the UAE as one of the most efficient countries in the world in this sector. It is of high importance to us to see these numbers reflected in global reports."
For his part, and in his capacity as sponsor of the Space Sector Economic Survey from the Agency’s side, Naser Ahmed Al Rashedi, Director of the Space Policy and Legislation at the UAE Space Agency, commented: “More than 54 establishments have been identified operating in the UAE space sector. However, we do not have complete data on the economic statistics of these entities. Through this Workshop, which is the first of its kind in the Arab and Islamic world, the UAE Space Agency aims to adequately assess the country’s space sector performance.”
“These calculations are important to investors locally and globally to be able to evaluate the sector’s performance in comparison to its global counterparts. This is a key practice of the world’s advanced space agencies and organizations”, he continued.
Al Rashedi further explained that the National Space Policy, which was adopted in September 2016, emphasizes the importance of enhancing the space sector’s role in contributing to economic diversification; the development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable commercial space sector, and to position the UAE among the top global players in the space industry.