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The First Female Saudi Astronaut Heads To Space On May 21

Rayyanah Barnawi is the first Arab Muslim female astronaut to journey to space, joining her teammate Ali AlQarni aboard the International Space Station.

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the first female saudi astronaut heads to space on may 21
Saudi Press Agency

On May 21, 2023, the Arab world will witness another historic mission to space as Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Arab Muslim female astronaut, blasts off from the United States on a journey to the International Space Station.

The mission is part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious space research program and aligns with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 manifesto. During the mission, Rayyanah Barnawi and teammate Ali AlQarni will conduct groundbreaking scientific experiments aimed at furthering human space exploration, as well as using live feeds to engage with 12,000 Saudi students.

Also Read: Dubai’s Self-Driving, Electric Abra Blends Tech With Tradition

Once the mission has been successfully completed, Saudi Arabia will join a select few countries that have simultaneously sent two astronauts to the International Space Station.

The May 21 mission represents a significant milestone for Saudi Arabia’s space program, which aims to prepare future engineers and astronauts for further space-related assignments.

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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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