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MBRSC wins hosting the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2020 in Dubai Official Announcement of IAC Dubai 2020

Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre wins hosting the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai in 2020

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has won the right to host the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Dubai. The IAC is the largest specialised conference in the space sector worldwide. The Dubai edition of the congress will be held in 2020, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.


The UAE has become the first Arab and Muslim country to host the IAC since its establishment in 1950. The successful bid was announced during a ceremony at IAC 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. MBRSC will host the IAC in coordination with the UAE Space Agency.

His Excellency Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of MBRSC, said: "The year 2020 is a year of symbolic significance for the United Arab Emirates, where the holding of the conference will be preceded by the launching of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) – Hope mission into space. This mission confirms the strong presence of the UAE in the field of space globally. We have entered the sector strongly with sustainable programmes including the EMM, the National Astronaut Programme, The Integrated Satellite Manufacturing Programme and Mars 2117 Programme.”


National support for the bid

“The commitment of applying the highest regulatory and logistical standards for the success of the event will be in coordination with the UAE Space Agency,: Al Shaibani continued. “IAC Dubai 2020 will be in line with Dubai's history and long-standing reputation for hosting the most important international conferences.”


39 of the UAE’s central bodies have provided their support to the Dubai bid to host the congress, including overseas embassies, the UAE Space Agency, and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, which were commended for their support by the Director General.


A prominent space event

Eng. Salem Humaid Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs at MBRSC and the Chairman of the Dubai Hosting Committee for the International Astronautical Congress in 2020, said, "The IAC has a prestigious position as it is considered the most prominent conference amongst the world’s space events. We are confident that Dubai’s hosting of the congress in 2020 will leave an important impression in all aspects."


Al Marri considered that “hosting the IAC is an important step that will have a positive impact, not only for the space sector in the UAE, but also for the entire Arab region." He pointed out that "the conference is a platform for exchanging experiences amongst the global space community and adopting innovative ideas that promote the global rising of the sector, as well as building ambitious new partnerships.”


Bid Proposal

MBRSC presented an official hosting bid proposal to the IAF, which included several elements such as extensive information on the UAE’s space sector, the proposed plan for hosting and a financial feasibility study.

Since 1950, the IAF has held the IAC annually in cooperation with the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law in one of the member states. This now includes the including the United Arab Emirates. The conference is considered one of the world's most important specialised space conferences. For 68 years, it has attracted the participation of the heads and senior executives of space agencies, decision-makers, researchers, academics and space specialists from 70 countries around the world.