His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today visited the 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2021), the world’s largest and most prestigious global space event, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Being held for the first time in the Middle East, the five-day international event organised by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in partnership with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), has brought together over 4,000 participants, and more than 90 exhibitors, 110 country delegations and 350 young professionals and space experts from all walks of life.
His Highness was accompanied by Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; Lieutenant-General Talal Belhoul Al Falasi, Vice President of MBRSC; Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman, MBRSC; Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General, MBRSC; Emirati astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori, and Sultan AlNeyadi, and graduates of the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla. His Highness visited the stands of Russia’s Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (ROSCOSMOS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Saudi Space Commission, ISpace, Lockheed Martin and the European Space Agency.
Speaking during the visit, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “The space sector plays a major role in realising the UAE’s vision for development and our goal to enhance the country’s role in shaping the future of the planet. Our investment in advancing our space engineering, scientific research and exploration capabilities is part of our efforts to create a new horizon for growth in a sector that has no boundaries or limitations. Already, our efforts and achievements have led to the UAE taking its place among the leading spacefaring nations of the world.”
“The space sector is crucial to our efforts to transform ourselves into a knowledge-based economy as well as meet the aspirations of our people, contribute to human progress and create a brighter future for the next generation. We are confident in our ability to be a key player in the sector by combining the contributions of local talent and the expertise of prominent global companies and scientific institutions we have partnered with. We have reached Mars, and we are headed for Venus. Our ambitions are limitless as we seek to fulfill the aspirations of our people and our nation,” His Highness added.
During his visit, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid posed for photographs with astronauts from NASA, MBRSC and ROSCOSMOS, the MBRSC management and the International Astronautical federation.
This year’s edition of the International Astronautical Congress is the first to be hosted in the Arab world, since its establishment in 1950. Held under the theme ‘Inspire, Innovate & Discover for the Benefit of Mankind’, IAC 2021 provides an opportunity for participating organisations to highlight their capabilities as well as their experience, contributions and innovations in the space sector.