Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, have launched the execution phase of the Sirb programme, marking a historic moment in the development of the country’s space sector, driven by the UAE’s industrial sector.
This groundbreaking project marks the pioneering development of a constellation comprising three synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, utilising state-of-the-art imaging technology to achieve high-precision results in all weather conditions.
The project aims to enhance the UAE’s efforts to find solutions to climate change challenges and environmental sustainability, contribute to urban development, integrate efforts to tackle natural disasters, and support food security challenges, by relying on qualified national talent and UAE companies.
It also aims to nurture partnerships with global institutions and offer incentives, as an extension of the Space Economic Zones project, to consolidate the UAE’s position as a global hub for talent, investment and innovation.
The UAE leaders were later briefed on the project’s milestones and the mechanisms for developing and operating the satellites by a national industrial consortium under the supervision of the UAE Space Agency.
The first satellite, which will be launched in 2026, will complement the UAE’s investment in remote sensing technologies that serve different sectors using various satellite images. Radar satellites are capable of capturing images, day or night, and irrespective of atmospheric conditions.
Sheikh Khaled said: "We will enhance local expertise in the field of space to support our ambitious vision for the UAE to become a global hub for manufacturing and operating satellites. We are focusing on creating opportunities for national companies and the private sector to be part of this significant journey, and to support the development of the space sector’s infrastructure."
Sheikh Hamdan said, “Sirb marks a strategic turning point in the UAE space sector, transitioning from a governmental and academic sector to an integrated governmental, private and academic sector that supports the development of microtechnology and progresses the space sector’s industrial development. Empowering start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs tops our priority list, as they are the main drivers for economic growth.”