Space in the spotlight at the Dubai Motor Show

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The Dubai Air Show opened on November 13 in the main city of the United Arab Emirates. Until now little known for its space aspect, this year it particularly highlights the space activities and ambitions of the emirate.

A key sector

The 2033 economic agenda Dubai aims to double the size of its economy over the next decade, and to position the emirate among the three most important cities on the planet on a whole series of criteria.

Thus, space is one of the key sectors for developing the economy beyond oil production, promoting public-private exchanges, attracting investors, and encouraging innovation, all in a sustainable manner.

A strategy that United Arab Emirates are also not the only ones to adopt in recent years in the Middle East, and in particular in the Persian Gulf region (see our file on the space ambitions of theSaudi Arabiapublished on November 9 in Airlines and Destinations No. 2850).

In-flight promotion

Calls to foreign investors are found particularly on board airline planes.Emirates which join Dubai.

Thus, on their individual screen, passengers departing from Paris on Sunday November 12 saw themselves extolling the tourist and economic merits of the emirate, with even a focus on space exploration in the “Discover Dubai” section.

A short video clip recalled, among other things, Dubai’s desire to invest massively in space, its partnerships with leading foreign space organizations and educational institutions, and the major role of its technical center. MBRSC (Mohamed Bin Rashid Space Center), the success of the probe Al-Amal (placed around Mars in February 2021), or the organization in October 2021 of the International Astronautical Congress.

Two astronauts featured

While traditionally the Dubai Air Show is essentially focused on aviation, civil and military, the 2023 edition (which takes place from November 13 to 17 at the international airport Al Makroum) is notably marked by the reception of an XXL pavilion dedicated to space, where the UAE Space Agency is located side by side (UAE Space Agency), created in 2016, and the MBRSC.

The first emphasizes planetary exploration, with a decor in Martian colors, while the second rides on the media success in the region of long-term flight aboard the International Space Station of Sultan Al Neyadion the occasion of the Crew 6 mission (February-September 2023).

The astronaut was notably present on the MBRSC stand on the first day of the show, along with his predecessor Hazza Al Mansouriwho was the first representative of the emirate in space, in September-October 2019.

The two men took part in endless photo sessions with the public, who waited quietly in line.

John Walker Avatar