The United Arab Emirates has highlighted its intention to make 2020 a unique year for the UAE space sector by launching the first Arab probe into Mars. This would make the country one of only nine around the world seeking to explore the planet.

The announcement was made during the official statement made by the UAE delegation to the UN Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) on the item pertaining to “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.”

The statement noted the UAE’s keenness to build a strong and sustainable Emirati space sector, and reviewed the country’s achievements in this regard.

It also reviewed the UAE Space Agency’s achievements in launching the national policy of the space sector, including the organisation and development of the sector and defining the agency’s principles, aspirations and approach to develop its national space programme.

The statement also referred to the efforts made by the UAE to launch the first Arab probe, “The Probe of Hope” to Mars, by 2020, with the participation of more than 150 UAE engineers.

During the debate, a series of other pilot projects and initiatives launched by the UAE in the exploration of outer space was mentioned, including the establishment of “Mars Science City” to simulate life on the planet .

The statement pledged that the UAE will continue to strengthen its participation in global efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of the development of thE sector, thereby contributing to the active role of industry, science and space technologies in sustainable social and economic development.