UAE Space Mission and Law

The UAE is currently a signatory to three out of the five main international space treaties; namely the:

  1. Outer Space Treaty 1967: Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
  2. Liability Convention 1972: Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects
  3. Registration Convention 1975:Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space

Moreover, the UAE is currently looking into joining the Rescue Agreement: Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space

In terms of Satellite Telecommunications and Radio-communication Coordination; the UAE is well-known for being an early and active member in the development and application of a number of regional and international regulatory frameworks such as:

  • ITU CSCV 1992: Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union
  • ITU Radio Regulations 2012
  • ITSO 1971: Agreement Relating to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization
  • IMSO 1976: Convention of the International Mobile Satellite Organizations
    ARABSAT 1976 (amended 1990): Agreement of the Arab Corporation for Space Communications

The Space Agency, in collaboration with the concerned national stakeholders, is responsible for monitoring the international legal and regulatory environment to identify issues of interest to the UAE as they arise and contribute to the development of international regulations and norms that will enhance the stability and sustainability of the space industry and environment.

UAE and space program Investment

On the economic domain the National Space Policy emphasizes the importance for space program to:

  1. Continue to grow space industry role in expanding the UAE Knowledge and High Skills based Economy.
  2. Enhance space industry’s contribution to the diversification of UAE Economy.
  3. Develop effective approaches to attract space businesses and increase investment into UAE space industry.

The Space Investment Promotion Plan is structured around four objectives:

  1. Sustain the growth of the UAE Space Industry.
  2. Increase the UAE space sector contribution to the diversification of national economy, and to knowledge based economy.
  3. Support other national strategic interests.
  4. Promote partnerships at national and international levels.

Internal Space Regulation of UAE

The UAE Space Agency has conducted numerous of local and international studies and consultations that have resulted in the need to develop several regulations as follows:

1. Regulation on Authorization of the Space Object:

This Regulation aims to set out the different types of Authorizations, terms and conditions and procedure to obtain a Space Activity and Other Activities Related to the Space Sector Authorization; in accordance with standards and conditions stipulated in the laws and regulations in force in the UAE, as well as international treaties and laws. (Under progress)

2. Regulation on Registration of the Space Object:

This Regulation aims to set out the legislations and procedures to register a Space Object, in case where the UAE is considered as a state of registry, in the National Registry and the UN International Registry. (Issued)

3. Regulation on Human Spaceflight Activities:

This Regulation aims to set out terms, conditions and procedures required to commence orbital and sub-orbital Space Flights with humans on board. (Under progress)

4. Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines:

These Guidelines aim to encourage the mitigation of releasing new space debris. It directs the operators to submit a plan for space debris mitigation and periodic reports. It also proposes measures based on international best practices and standards, without making them obligatory. (Under progress)

5. Insurance Guidelines:

These Guidelines aim to set out terms and conditions to regulate third party insurance activities for space activities in the UAE space sector, calculate and estimate compensation limits for the operator’s liability for damages caused to others and calculate and estimate the compensation limits that the state may incur as a result of the damages that the operator may cause to others. (Under progress)

6. Earth Observation Space-Based Data Policy Guidelines:

These Guidelines aim to provide a reference to UAE Institutional Earth Observation’s space mission owners/operators to develop their own data policies for their own missions. (Issued)

Federal Law No. 12-Federal Decree-Law No. 1/2014 dated 06/08/2014.-ON THE REGULATION OF THE SPACE SECTOR

This Law aims to establish a legislative framework regulating the Space Sector so as to
create an appropriate regulatory environment to achieve the objectives of the State’s
national space policy, including the following purposes:

1- Promote investment and encouraging private and academic sector participation in the
Space Sector and related activities.

2- Supporting the implementation of the necessary safety, security and environmental
protection measures to enhance the long-term stability and sustainability of Space
Activities and related activities.

3- Supporting the principle of transparency and the commitment of the State to
implement the provisions of international conventions and treaties related to Outer Space and to which the State is a party.

Read the Full Law

Space Assets

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, founded in 2006, is home to the UAE National Space Programme. The Centre builds and operates earth observation satellites, offering imaging and data analysis services to clients around the world. The Centre launched DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2, and recently launched KhalifaSat on 29 October 2018 from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will launch its first-ever interplanetary mission on 19 July 2020 from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 5:58 p.m. EDT (2158 GMT; 6:58 a.m. July 20 Japan Standard Time. If all goes according to plan, the $200 million Hope mission will arrive in Mars orbit in early 2021


Categories: CIVIL, Law of UAE, UAE

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