Security, Aerospace & Defence
From The Report: Abu Dhabi 2020
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In recent years Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE have passed several important milestones in terms of security, aerospace and defence strategy. In 2019 Hazzaa Al Mansoori, an astronaut born in Al Wathba, roughly 45 km outside Abu Dhabi City, became the first Emirati to visit the International Space Station. The mission helped to raise the profile and popularity of the UAE’s National Space Programme, under which the country aims to reach Mars by 2021, among other objectives. In 2020 the country plans to launch its Hope probe, which is scheduled to reach Martian orbit by 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the UAE. At the same time, 2019 saw the development of new long-term strategies for aerospace and cybersecurity, alongside a major merger of defence sector entities. Meanwhile, the UAE Armed Forces continued to play a crucial role in ensuring regional stability. This chapter contains an interview with Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director-General, UAE Space Agency.