Space Exploration: UAE and INDIA Space Cooperation

The space sector is one of the most critical and prospective branches of any economic development. Nowadays, world governments perform significant contributions to the development of innovative programs in the relevant sphere.

One would hardly argue with the fact that the successful performance within the space industry might assist considerably in the improvement of the general image of a particular country on the international stage. Therefore, governments of different countries make a lot of effort in order to form a productive collaboration with other players in a global space market.

The fact that India is one of the most advanced countries in the framework of space innovations seems to be undoubted.

After the day when they successfully reached Mars in 2014, the Indian space sector has been considered as highly prospective and well-developed. Meanwhile, the space program of another powerful eastern country, the UAE, seems to be, likewise, promising. As a result, the question arises, whether close and beneficial cooperation is possible between these two countries, and what kind of outcomes this alliance might potentially bring.

One of the key advantages of the Indian activity in the space sector is that the country is particularly careful about the projects it develops; India’s achievements in the space sphere are determined by certain objective factors. First of all, many analysts agree on the point that the key advantage of Indian space programs is their cost-effectiveness.

Thence, Sudha Ramachandran puts a particular emphasis on the fact that the Indians manage to create projects similar to those that the USA introduce, though at a significantly lower cost. [1]

The relevant fact refutes the common assumption that large contributions to the development of space programs can do harm to the financial prosperity of a nation and should be reassigned to some other vital spheres of a local environment.

On the contrary, it seems that the Indian government manages to make use of all the opportunities that open up due to the development of space projects: educational, broadcasting, and weather and climate monitoring.

Secondly, few people know that the country is one of the most experienced players in the space market. India began carrying out the space research activity in the early 1960s when most of the US ambitious projects were in the development stage. Throughout the long-term practice, the country has managed to compose one of the best scientific teams in the world via encouraging high-quality international professionals to cooperate.[2]

Moreover, another strong aspect of the Indian space policy is its ability to simplify the already existing projects, maintaining their principal advantages and reducing the general costs. Hence, Sudha Ramachandran notes that the orbiter, Mangalyaan, had a lot of traits common with its US counterpart, Maven.

Meanwhile, the Mangalyaan’s size was significantly smaller, and the entire construction was less complicated.[3] Therefore, the ability of Indian space specialists to adopt the best world practices and make them cheaper constitutes one of the primary advantages of the space sector in India.

In the meantime, one can hardly reject the fact that the space industry in the UAE is developing rapidly. The investment of the UAE in the space sector comprises over 5.4 billion dollars.[4]

Therefore, a significant part of the budget goes to the space researching centers and the implementation of various innovative projects. Furthermore, public releases often reveal the ambitious plans that the UAE representatives have in the context of the global space market.

According to the words of the national vice-president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, one of the most significant projects in the UAE space sector, is going to be realized within the next several years. Thus, Mohammed bin Rashid claims that they plan to launch their probe orbiter to Mars in 2021.[5]

According to the official data, one of the principal strategic objectives of the UAE in the space sector is the foundation of the Scientific Advisory Committee. Hence, one can reasonably suppose that the relevant intention might imply a close collaboration with Indian researchers[6].

The recent visit of the UAE delegation to India for the purpose of experience’s exchange in the space sphere proves that the Arabians are determined to set a favorable environment for further cooperation.

Thus, the leader of the UAE delegation, Dr. Khalifa Al Rumaithi, explained the necessity for closer relations in space exploration by the fact that the two countries are historically closely connected on the grounds of their politics, economics, and culture. The leader also added that the space centers from both parts have a lot of valuable experience to share; therefore, the potential collaboration is likely to be mutually beneficial. [7]

One might, consequently, assume that collaboration with India in the space sector is apt to bring numerous benefits to the UAE. First of all, the targeted projects that the UAE announces are of a similar character as those that the Indian specialists have already successfully accomplished.

The UAE mission to Mars can hardly be realized without external support, and India is likely to become one of the most credible partners in this project. Moreover, India can provide valuable consultation on the question of the development of the space sector in the eastern region.

As long as the UAE innovative strategy covers the aspect of the improvement of the environment, they might need the assistance of a part that is aware of the peculiarities of the local region. Furthermore, the UAE announced an intention to establish a high-qualified scientific workforce that will be trained by international specialists. Hence, the Indian researchers can be invited in the quality of educators.

Finally, the potential collaboration might be financially beneficial as it will open opportunities for working on common projects. The official strategy of the UAE implies performing considerable contributions to international space programs. As a result, they might offer consistent financial support in return for the valuable experience of the Indians.

Therefore, one should note that the potential collaboration between India and the UAE in the context of space programs’ development seems to be highly promising. First and foremost, both countries intend to turn the space sector into a reliable source of income.

Thus, one might suggest that one of the principal directions of the collaboration will focus on the satellite sector as the latter is most likely to generate profit. Another aspect of the common activity will be, presumably, aimed at the exchange of knowledge and experience.

Indian specialists might play a significant role in helping the UAE to develop a high-quality workforce. Finally, the Indian weight in the global market, along with the financial resources of the UAE, might serve as an efficient tool to involve international investors in the development of common projects.


[1] Sudha Ramachandran, “,” The Diplomat,

[2] “” Indian Space Research Organization.

[3] Sudha Ramachandran, “,” The Diplomat,

[4] “Strategy.” UAE Space Agency.

[5] Sudha Ramachandran, “,” The Diplomat,

[6] “Strategy.” UAE Space Agency.

[7] Faisal Masudi, “,” Gulf News,


“” Indian Space Research Organization.

Masudi, F. “” Gulf News. 2015.

Ramachandran, S. “.” The Diplomat. 2014.

“Strategy.” UAE Space Agency.

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