Space science and research are key components in the UAE's drive to achieve its Centennial 2071 goals, said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Friday.
They are also key factors in its efforts to be among the world's leading nations in terms of prosperity and progress and gain leadership in sectors like space that help improve people's lives and serve humanity, he said.
Sheikh Mohammed's remarks came as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced that the UAE has won the bid to host the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the largest specialised conference in the global space sector. The UAE will be the first country in the region to host the IAC since it was held for the first time in 1950. The congress will be held in 2020 in Dubai. "We are proud that the UAE has won the bid to host the International Astronautical Congress in 2020 which will attract more than 5,000 scientists, astronauts and experts," Sheikh Mohammed said.
The UAE is achieving steady progress in realising its aspirations under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and with the close follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The UAE Centennial 2071 goals include making the UAE a leader in various economic, scientific, cultural and educational sectors, many of which the UAE has already made major leaps in, like space science and technology.
Sheikh Mohammed said the achievement coincides with a series of accomplishments in the space sector. "The conference will take place immediately after the launch of the first Arab space mission to Mars and the Mars Science City project, the largest space simulation city ever built," he said.
He also spoke about the success stories of the UAE nationals, who have won praise from across the world, adding that the current generation has once again proven its ability to implement projects of the highest standards. "I am proud of the youth of the UAE who have laid the foundations of the UAE Centennial 2071 vision. We have started implementing our vision for 2071 now," said Sheikh Mohammed.
"Our ambitions have no limits, and to be number one is not an unreachable objective as we will do all that it takes to achieve it, including developing talent, and launching projects and initiatives that support youth and stimulate creative thinking. The doors are open for everyone to participate in shaping the future. This is what we expect from the Emiratis who proved their capabilities in all the missions they were assigned. The world's recognition of the UAE's accomplishments across sectors is testimony to the positive impact our country has made regionally and globally," he added.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman and General Supervisor of the strategic plans and projects of MBRSC, said that the remarkable progress made by the UAE in the field of space science with a series of unique projects has given the country a special position in the global space sector. Thanks to the futuristic vision of the UAE leadership, who provided all the necessary encouragement to achieve such success and distinction, the country has won international recognition for its innovative thinking.
"The UAE has greatly contributed to making the Arab region an important player in the global space industry with a series of projects that have built on what the world has already achieved in the space sector. We are now pursuing new initiatives that can help humanity understand space and how advanced space technologies can be used to enhance man's life," he said.
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) on Friday announced Dubai as the winning city at a ceremony held during IAC 2017 that took place in Adelaide, Australia. Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre will be the hosting organiser, and the event will be held in coordination with the UAE Space Agency.
Since 1950, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has been holding the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) annually in cooperation with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) in one of the members countries of the IAF. The IAC is one of the leading space conferences worldwide. Attendees include presidents and CEOs of international space agencies, decision makers, researchers, academics and professionals in the space sector from 70 countries.