Once a year the global space community, its major players, its leaders, its decision makers, come together in an iconic meeting of minds, to work towards the advancement, the betterment of all humankind.

Next year, high-level stakeholders from space agencies and institutions around the world come together under one roof to exchange information and ideas, to share developments and advances, to swap insights, strategies and rising trends.

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is the world’s premier space event. It is a one-of-a-kind assemblage, unmatched in scale and in scope, unequalled in its reach and its attendance, and in 2020, in a first for the country and a first for the entire region, it will be held in the UAE.

As official host of the seventy-first International Astronautical Congress — the IAC 2020 — the UAE will become the first-ever Arab country to host this annual, high profile gathering of the international space industry. Dubai will become the first city in the region to host the event in its seventy-year history.

We at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) are committed to making this event a resounding success. And we would like to invite you to be a part of this historic moment, to be a part of the UAE’s legacy.


Each year the IAC features a line-up of thematic plenary sessions, informative lectures, in-depth technical sessions and interactive workshops — there is certainly no dearth of opportunities to learn.

But the event also features an exclusive global networking forum, as well as a heavily attended space science exhibition, both meticulously tailored to encourage engagement.

Participating organisations can leverage their presence at IAC 2020:

Connect, network and build partnerships

The IAC is structured to maximise networking opportunities; its organisers place heavy emphasis on the creation of alliances and partnerships during the event’s run. IAC 2020 will provide a platform to network with the global space sector’s leaders across government, industry and academia, and to make critical business connections. It will allow for collaboration and cooperation on a domestic as well as an international level.

Showcase your organisation

IAC 2020 will provide an opportunity for participating organisations to highlight their capabilities, their experience, their contributions and their innovations in the space sector and beyond to a wide spectrum of attendees and high-level representatives of international agencies.

Be a part of Dubai’s iconic 2020 line-up

The year 2020 is set to become a cornerstone in the nation’s history — millions of visitors and nearly 200 participating nations will coalesce in Dubai for the region’s first-ever World Expo. For the UAE’s space sector, it marks the moment in which years of hard work will come to fruition: the MBRSC will launch Hope Probe, its space-exploration spacecraft to Mars.

The city will attract delegates from around the world and become the site for several successful business-to-business interactions. We understand the value of strong partnerships and, at any event we host, we are committed to creating an environment conducive to the formation of such connections.

So as we prepare to become a meeting ground for the brightest and best from the international space sector, this is a unique opportunity for participating organisations to join us.


Since its formation the IAC has grown into a site of collaboration and cooperation on multiple levels, and as such garners the presence of high-profile representatives from international space agencies and institutions.

The IAC draws in over 4000 participants from around the world each year — top space agency officials and delegations, astronauts, industry stalwarts, scientists and engineers, press and public, attend the congress in significant numbers.

IAC 2020 will attract:

  • Heads of global space agencies, high-level officials and executives
  • Policy and decision makers and legal experts
  • Industry representatives and innovators
  • Astronauts, scientists, engineers and specialists
  • Researchers and academics
  • Young professionals and students
  • Members of the press


IAC 2020 will not just be a unique chance to meet and interact with these factions, but it is also a chance for organisations to showcase their developments and contributions in front of key representatives.


The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, founded in 2006, is home to the UAE National Space Programme. The Centre builds and operates earth observation satellites, offering imaging and data analysis services to clients around the world. The Centre launched DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2, and recently launched KhalifaSat on 29 October 2018 from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. KhalifaSat was developed 100% in the UAE by a team

of highly qualified Emirati engineers. The Centre is responsible for the development of the Emirates Mars Mission and the Mars Hope Probe, a mission to reach Mars orbit by 2021 and gather key science data about Mars’ atmosphere, as well as the UAE Astronaut Programme and the development of the Mars 2117 vision to build a human colony on Mars.



The significance associated with winning the right to host the IAC in 2020 would not be lost on the young people of the UAE, and would serve to further illustrate the progress that has been made in the space sector in just over a decade. Space has become an attractive sector to many Emiratis and MBRSC’s strategy is mainly to harness space technology in the country and region in a way that attains socioeconomic development over the long term.

Hosting IAC 2020 will be a knowledge enrichment platform for the youth in the fields of space science and technology. It will act as an accelerator for STEM education, and will be a source of enormous pride and inspiration for the next generations who are hoping to participate in the space sector. The legacy of IAC 2020 will also be felt across the region, acting as a catalyst for other nations to establish space centres and agencies.

However, the impact of both the IAC 2020 coming to Dubai and the launch of the Emirates Mars Mission - Hope mission in the same year will send a message that reaches much further than the UAE. It will send a message to Arabs that they too can have an impact in space, and that their contributions are respected and valued by the international community. The UAE is regarded as being a shining light in the region, and a beacon of hope for young people, and the Hope probe is an example of this, sending the message that the Arab world can contribute to humanity, to science and to human endeavor.

Space is a sector that is growing in the UAE, and, as a result of the increased activity, it’s now growing in the region too. To see an Arab nation hosting the IAC would act as an accelerator to this growth, as the people would see the impact the UAE is having after just over a decade of space activity.

The Arab world once played a vital role in advancing humanity’s understanding of science, mathematics and the stars themselves, and while during the course of time parts of the region have become embroiled in difficulties, the UAE hopes to spread the message to the youth that they can make a difference, and that they can accomplish amazing things. Space is central to this.

The UAE is also keen to strengthen and enhance cooperation between all countries in the space sector. International cooperation is fundamental for the development of space activities in the UAE and the region. IAC provides the ideal platform for the exchange of experiences and mutual cooperation, pushing the industry on to an even more advanced level.

The congress has had a huge impact on the space industry in a number of ways, encouraging new business relationships, international cooperation between countries and agencies, the introduction of investment plans to support space launches, manufacturing, ground station operations and services. Finally, it gives members and attendees the possibility to grow their space program and get their projects and missions off the ground.

Our vision in the UAE is to make a contribution to humanity and to science. We see an honour such as hosting IAC 2020 as being a pivotal step in our journey towards accomplishing our ambitions.