The French space agency, CNES, has opened a new office at the French Embassy in Abu Dhabi, a further step in the strategic partnership with the UAE Space Agency.
Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of France's CNES space agency, travelled to Abu Dhabi for the opening of CNES’s new office at the French Embassy on 7th October and the arrival of Donato Giorgi, CNES representative and Space Advisor in the United Arab Emirates.
The event was attended by Ludovic Pouille, France’s Ambassador to the UAE, Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency (UAESA), and the agency’s Director General Mohammed Al Ahbabi.
The UAE Space Agency was created in 2014. It signed a strategic partnership agreement with CNES in April 2015, becoming the first international space agency to sign a framework agreement with UAESA. Substantial progress has since been made especially in the field of Earth observation, and CNES is sharing its technical expertise with the UAE’s engineers.
The opening of CNES’s office and the arrival of its representative and Space Advisor in Abu Dhabi mark a new step in the relationship between the two agencies. The UAE is rising to prominence in the international space arena, as confirmed by the recent election of Mohammed Al Ahbabi, UAESA’s Director General, as Vice-President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).
This proximity of the two agencies in Abu Dhabi will facilitate ongoing collaboration between CNES and UAESA on a joint hyperspectral Earth-observation satellite, a programme that is targeting capacity building and applications.
This programme will also provide a significant joint contribution to the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) and international efforts to tackle climate change, to which CNES and UAESA are strongly committed.