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Dubai Hosts Major Space Science and Technology Sector Events

Reaching for the stars in Dubai became a reality when the city hosted the International Astronautical Congress last year. The event was made possible thanks to some of the emirate’s key successes and huge investment in the space science and technology sector. Special emphasis was placed on the development of young local talent.

International Astronautical Congress 2021

Following the virtual IAC 2020 CyberSpace edition, the 72nd International Astronautical Congress was the first in-person IAC since the start of the pandemic, and it also made history by being the first IAC to be organized in an Arab country. It was hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai.

Dubai IAC Conference 2

Gathering more than 5,000 delegates from 110 countries, and 1,500 additional participants during the Public Day, the world’s premier global space event exceeded every expectation by putting together an outstanding program under the theme: ‘Inspire, Innovate and Discover for the Benefit of Humankind.’

With an exciting program and many interesting events, space stakeholders and decision makers from all over the world gathered to discuss the achievements and future perspectives of the dynamic space sector. More than 1,400 technical papers were presented and more than 140 exhibitors showcased their organizations.

The IAC involves the entire space community, around 30 percent of whom are young professionals below the age of 35. The agenda included many suitable activities including a dedicated Next Generation and Outreach Program involving local schools and young students.

Dubai IAC Conference 3

Success Breeds Success

Adnan Al Rais, of Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and co-chair for the Local Organizing Committee of IAC 2021, describes the importance of the IAC 2021 to the region.  

“The IAC 2021 came to the UAE at a fortuitous juncture. It followed closely on the heels of the launch of the Emirates Mars Mission (Hope Probe), the first Arab space exploration craft to Mars. The year of the event also marked the second anniversary of the return of the first Emirati astronaut from the International Space Station and the third anniversary of the launch of KhalifaSat — the first Earth observation satellite to be produced wholly by Emiratis. 

“These achievements are symbolic of the commencement of a new era in the region. The IAC 2021 became the opportunity to highlight how space science and technology contribute to a nation’s progress. IAC 2021 also followed a highly successful Space Week held at the Expo 2020 Dubai, which saw a stellar line-up of astronauts, astronomers and space experts come together to discuss a wide gamut of topics.”

The event played a large part in inspiring the next generation of space industry professionals. “Hosting IAC 2021 was a knowledge-enrichment platform for the youth in the fields of space science and technology,” says Al Rais. “It acted as an accelerator for STEM education, and was a source of enormous pride and inspiration for the next generation.” 

Dubai astronaut program

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai

MBRSC was established by the Dubai government to serve as one of the main pillars to drive the establishment of the knowledge economy and sustainable development in the UAE. It is a scientific center that specializes in space science and advanced technology. 

Looking forward to contributing in ways that enrich human knowledge and support scientific development worldwide, the MBRSC has strong ties with internationally influential organizations and is keen to establish relationships with space agencies and the world's most prestigious universities and faculties that specialize in space science. 

“MBRSC supports the country’s plans aimed at creating a new generation of Emirati expert engineers and researchers to hold leadership roles in establishing a knowledge-based economy,” adds Al Rais.  


For details on hosting events in Dubai, contact Dubai Business Events and log onto dubaibusinessevents.com.