Skip to main content

Elon Musk denies report that Saudi Arabia, UAE intend to invest in SpaceX

An arm of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and an Abu Dhabi-based company were reported to be looking to invest in Elon Musk’s SpaceX, according to The Information, which cited people familiar with investor discussions.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building on January 24, 2023 in San Francisco, California. Musk testified at a trial regarding a lawsuit that has investors suing Tesla and Musk over his August 2018 tweets saying he was taking Tesla private with funding that he had secured. The tweet was found to be false and cost shareholders billions of dollars when Tesla's stock price began to fluctuate wildly allegedly based on the tweet. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DUBAI — Elon Musk, SpaceX's billionaire founder and CEO, denied on Friday the media reports from earlier this week that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intended to invest in a multibillion-dollar funding round in the company, according to Reuters.

An arm of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and an Abu Dhabi-based company were reportedly looking to invest in Elon Musk’s SpaceX, according to The Information on Wednesday, which cited people familiar with investor discussions. 

Two of the American tech news outlet's sources indicated that SpaceX and Morgan Stanley, the organizers of the ongoing funding round, told investors that Saudi Arabia’s Water and Electricity Holding Company, which is part of Saudi Arabia’s PIF and Alpha Dhabi from the UAE, were involved in the funding round.

But on Friday, Musk tweeted “not true” responding to the report.

Saudi interest in Musk’s SpaceX is turn in events, as Riyadh played a role in a recent lawsuit of his other company, Tesla, which involved investors suing the electric car company after they claimed that statements made by the CEO in 2018 made them lose money.

In a January testimony, Musk said he had not lied or misspoken about his plans to take Tesla off the stock market in 2018, testifying in Federal Court that PIF had "unequivocally wanted to take Tesla private," according to The New York Times. 

The funding round is expected to value SpaceX at $140 billion, according to The Information report. 

Previously, the American private spacecraft manufacturer had raised $2.6 billion in 2020, and then another $2 billion in 2022, according to venture capital firm Space Capital. 

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have invested in launching their space industries in recent years and partnering with private space agencies. 

The UAE successfully sent its second astronaut into space earlier this month with the SpaceX Dragon capsule, named Endeavor. 

This 2023 mission is expected to take the Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station for about six months, making it the longest Arab space mission in history, according to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center.

The UAE has placed the space industry among its top priorities for the next 50 years as part of its developmental and economic strategy, Projects of the 50.

The country has spent about $6 billion on space-related activities between 2015 and 2020, and contractual agreements for space services increased by 40% in 2020, according to the UAE Space Agency.

Saudi Arabia is looking to follow the UAE's lead with its space endeavors and announced that it will be sending its first female astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi, into space this year along with fellow Saudi Ali Al-Qarni for a 10-day mission to the space station, according to the country's government news agency. 

Space travel and building an ecosystem around the industry is part of Saudi Arabia’s national strategy Vision 2030, which outlines forging partnerships and injecting 8 billion riyals ($2.13 billion) into the industry, according to the Euro-Gulf Information Center. 

By 2030, the global space sector is predicted to exceed $1 trillion, almost doubling its market size compared to 2020, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial