First foreign space agency opens in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: The French Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has opened a representative office here of the French space agency, the first of its kind in the country.

The announcement was made on Sunday during a ceremony attended by the visiting President of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiale (CNES), Jean-Yves Le Gall, and Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency.

Speaking on the occasion, Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of France to the UAE, said: “It is a major milestone in our space cooperation and a clear sign of the new status the UAE has earned on the space international stage. Between France and the UAE, I used to say that the sky is the limit. Now, I can say, the universe is the limit.”

In response, Le Gall said: “To lead this endeavour to invent the future of space, we need to exchange ideas and try to see things differently… I have no doubt that space will keep making a vigorous contribution to our countries’ cooperation.”

In April 2015, only one year after the creation of the UAE Space agency, France had been the first foreign country to sign a MoU with the agency.

The partnership allows both countries to mutually exchange competencies and conduct common projects and aims to allow new missions to be developed jointly.