The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has signed an agreement with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to foster the development of the UAE's space exploration capabilities through collaborative efforts in education, awareness programmes and knowledge exchange.

In the presence of His Excellency Dr Sultan Saif Al Neyadi, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs and astronaut, His Excellency Saeed Ali Obaid Al Fazari, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs at DCT Abu Dhabi, and Hazza Al Mansouri, astronaut, the agreement was signed by His Excellency Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, and His Excellency Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General of MBRSC, at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Saood  Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Honouring the legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this MoU is a vital boost to the UAE’s space sector ambitions, through strategic community outreach rooted in education and collaboration. With a mandate to promote, protect and progress Abu Dhabi, we are fostering a shared appreciation for astronomy and highlighting its integral part within our vast cultural heritage.”

His Excellency Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General at MBRSC, said: “This MoU is a testament to our shared vision of harnessing space exploration as a catalyst for educational, technological and cultural advancement. Through this partnership, we aim to inspire a new generation of explorers and scientists by highlighting the rich legacy and future possibilities of space exploration. It is a strategic step towards nurturing talent and promoting sustainable growth in the UAE’s space sector.”

A key focus of the agreement is on outreach and educational programmes designed to raise public awareness about the importance of space exploration. This will include seminars, workshops, and other events that will not only promote research within the UAE but also highlight MBRSC projects and the overarching benefits of space exploration. By engaging the community through these educational endeavours, the partnership seeks to inspire future generations and cultivate a deep-seated interest in space and related sectors.

The agreement places a strong emphasis on developing educational materials and programmes specifically tailored for children. The resources aim to spark curiosity and excitement about space exploration and research, laying the foundation for a future workforce passionate about advancing the UAE's space objectives.

The agreement also extends support to other government entities within the UAE that are involved in space exploration and research, demonstrating a holistic approach to national space sector development. The collaboration is a step towards identifying and expanding local collaborations that can further promote the development of the UAE space sector.

In addition to fostering local collaboration and resource sharing, the agreement aims to enhance cooperation by exchanging practical experiences and developing human resources. This initiative is crucial for the effective implementation of the agreement, ensuring that both entities benefit from shared knowledge and expertise.

The partnership will focus on educating the public about the historical and contemporary significance of astronomy. By understanding how ancient civilisations utilised astronomy and how knowledge of the universe has evolved, the initiative seeks to enrich the cultural and scientific fabric of the UAE.