By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Canadian Business Council (CBC) Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada in the UAE, organized a conversation with the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) Director General, Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President, Sylvain Laporte, at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island on March 20. The event brought together the delegates of the UAESA, CSA and Global Space Congress and members of CBC Abu Dhabi.
Masud Husain, Ambassador of Canada to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), presented the welcome address in which he spoke at great length of the growing relationship between Canada and the UAE and their collaborative efforts in space exploration.
Gregory Zoughbi, Chairman of CBC Abu Dhabi, welcomed and introduced the speakers, noting on CBC’s role in promoting business relations, commerce and investment between Canada and the UAE through its Communities of Interest (COI) initiative.
Mustafa Alrawi, Assistant Editor-in-Chief of The National opened the discussion by how the investment in space will benefit different sectors such as energy, construction, education, media and others; and what opportunities it may have to offer to society.
It was a historic moment for the UAE when it launched its first Emirati-made satellite in 2018. Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, shared how this vision came into reality because of the country’s dedicated leadership who foresaw the future of this nation as well as the region.
The UAE’s space programme has various initiatives such as hosting the Global Space Congress and teaming up with different countries, such as Canada, with the same passion for space exploration.
Sylvain Laporte, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), talked about the many lessons learned throughout this programme, mentioning a country could not do space exploration without international collaboration.
The CSA chief expressed great appreciation of how the UAE’s Space Agency, within a short span of tim,e has been able to achieve great milestones.
The topic on Canada’s commitment to the Lunar Gateway by providing smart robotic system was also discussed wherein he explained how this system will work and how Canada has taken advantage of the technologies from the two Canadarms.
The informative discussion concluded with the point that the UAE and Canada have driven inspiration for the youth to get involved in space initiatives as both the countries encouraged innovation, commercialization and diversity in space.
The Canadian Business Council Abu Dhabi (CBC) promotes business relations, commerce and investment between Canada and the UAE with a particular focus on the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), established in 1989, is responsible for coordinating all government-funded space activities in Canada and some of its more high-profile projects include its robotics, most famously the Canadarm and the Canadarm 2.
The UAE Space Agency is a federal agency, created to take care of the space sector including all projects, activities and programmes related to outer space.
It is focused on the development of policies, strategies and plans related to the space sector that are approved by the Council of Ministers.
The Global Space Congress, hosted by the UAE Space Agency, is a strategic gathering of global space industry leaders.
Promoting the worldwide industry of space, the Congress brings together over 600 key space agencies, commercial space, academia and end users of space services to evaluate the biggest opportunities in the space sector.