New Delhi: Union Minister for Space, Science and Technology Dr Jitendra Singh will visit the United Arab Emirates.
He is due to attend the inaugural Abu Dhabi Space Debate on December 5, 2022. Singh will make a speech at the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Space debate along with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
In his address at the opening ceremony, Jitendra Singh will highlight the recent policy reforms made by India in the Space sector. He will also participate in the Ministerial Plenary on the ‘Role of Foreign Policy in Enabling Space Diplomacy and International Cooperation’ along with the Minister of State Foreign Affairs of the UAE, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister and Israel’s Minister of Advanced Technologies.
He will hold delegation-level talks with UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Technology Sarah Al Amiri and the Chairperson of UAE Space Agency to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral space cooperation between the two nations, according to the pre-departure release on the visit of Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh.
In 2016, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and UAE Space Agency (UAESA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. Notably, UAE’s first nanosatellite – ‘Nayif-1’ which was designed for gathering environmental space data was launched by PSLV from Sriharikota.
According to the press release, the “immense potential” of India and UAE in the space sector will be a new dimension of strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations. According to the pre-departure release on the visit of Dr Jitendra Singh, the UAE is an emerging space power in the region and has made rapid progress in the past 25 years of its space journey.
In July 2020, UAE launched its Mars mission named Hope Probe which entered into Mars orbit in Feb 2021. UAE is the first Arab nation and the sixth in the world to launch a Mars mission. The UAE is planning to launch Rashid Rover or the Emirates Lunar Mission.
Highlighting UAE’s progress in the space sector, the press release stated that Hanzala Al Mansoori became the first Emirati to go to Space when he went to the International Space Station (ISS) for eight days through a Russian space vehicle from Kazakhstan in September 2019.
This year, another UAE astronaut was chosen to travel to the ISS on NASA’s crew-rotating flight for six months period. According to the release, India and the UAE share “very close and friendly relations.”
The ties between the two nations have been elevated to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2017 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.
India and UAE signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement earlier this year and they intend to take the bilateral trade from the existing USD 72 billion to USD 100 billion in the next five years.