From spaceports to startups, Gulf countries race to boost space sector


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Samuel Wendel

Senior Market Research Analyst, Al-Monitor


Jan. 24, 2023

Bottom Line:

As the global space race accelerates, the Middle East is becoming a rising hub of activity. News broke in early 2023 that Oman plans to build the region’s first space rocket launch center and hopes to start launches by early 2024. That comes as the UAE continues to demonstrate rising ambitions in space, including sending the first lunar rover built by an Arab country into space in December aboard a SpaceX rocket launched from the United States. Notably, the UAE also recently announced a $816 million fund to invest in the space sector, with a focus on private companies. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is eyeing ambitions in space too. As private sector players attempt to reach new heights in 2023 and global competition heats up, Gulf players should have plenty of opportunities to capture a larger slice of this transformative new industry. 

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