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Tech Firms Form Partnership To Boost UAE’s Space Program

The team of companies aims to enhance the nation’s space tech and exploration potential using remote sensing and Earth Observation (EO) capabilities.

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tech firms form partnership to boost uae's space program
ICEYE

A leading AI-powered geospatial tech company called Bayanat has teamed up with fellow UAE firm and satellite solutions provider Yahsat on a new space program.

The pair will be joined by ICEYE, a well-known Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) producer from Finland, to build cutting-edge remote satellite sensing and Earth Observation (EO) technologies.

Synthetic Aperture Radar technology allows active sensing of the Earth’s surface, and produces high-resolution images that aren’t affected by weather conditions or the sun’s output. In addition, unlike regular imaging satellites, SAR-equipped solutions can capture images both night and day. ICEYE’s SAR satellites offer broad coverage and higher-resolution images than most, providing valuable insights for various applications.

Meanwhile, the Bayanat and Yahsat role in the space program will be to develop a constellation of around five SAR low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The constellation will enable stable data streams for end-to-end SAR applications and provide a wide range of geospatial insights. Between Yahsat’s advanced satellite infrastructure and Bayanat’s data analytics and AI capabilities, the program represents a significant advancement in the UAE’s journey toward building a comprehensive space ecosystem.

Aside from developing remote sensing capabilities, the program also aims to improve in-country satellite manufacturing expertise and enhance the UAE’s space exploration capabilities.

Also Read: Qatar’s Capital Aims To Become A Regional Technology Hub

Hasan Al Hosani, CEO of Bayanat, said, “The partnership between Bayanat and Iceye, in collaboration with Yahsat, will drive the development of a sovereign EO ecosystem, whilst contributing to skill development, scientific advancements, and sustained economic growth.” Meanwhile, Ali Al Hashemi, Group CEO of Yahsat, stated, “As part of Yahsat’s active role in empowering the space economy sector in line with the UAE’s Space Strategy 2030, we are pleased to collaborate […] on this ambitious program [to] strengthen the UAE’s leadership in the space sector in the MENA region”.

The new program follows hot on the heels of UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who became the first Arab to perform a spacewalk from the International Space Station (ISS). The historic event lasted for 7.01 hours in the cold vacuum of space, accomplishing key objectives to maintain cabling and insulation on the station’s starboard truss.

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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.

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binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile, Crypto.com, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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