Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 

Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 
Koichi Wakata. (Photo supplied)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 

Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 
  • Koichi Wakata believes KhalifaSat and planned launch of a Mars mission represent exciting advances in UAE space technology
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the UAE Space Agency seek to strengthen cooperation in exploration

A Japanese astronaut has welcomed advances in the UAE’s space industry following the launch of KhalifaSat.

It was the first satellite to be fully engineered and built in the UAE and was launched into space from an island south of Japan’s mainland in 2018, a milestone for Arab space program.  

The launch was followed by Hazza Al-Mansoori becoming the first Arab to journey to the International Space Station (ISS).

Japanese astronaut and member of the UAE’s space advisory committee, Koichi Wakata, said that the launch of KhalifaSat on the Mitsubishi H2A rocket and the expected launch of the Mars Mission represented exciting advances in space technology.

“It’s amazing to see the steady growth in space activities, and young people in the UAE are fascinated with science and technology,” Wakata told Arab News. “I was very excited to ask this year about Al-Mansoori, the first Emirates astronaut. He conducted an educational event in the Japanese Kibo laboratory on the ISS. I’m very happy Japan is part of the development in space technology in the UAE.”

Al-Mansoori conducted 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

In 2016, JAXA and the UAE Space Agency signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in space exploration for peaceful scientific purposes.


Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season

Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season
Updated 17 January 2021

Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season

Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season
  • Egypt’s bluechip index eased 0.1 percent, with top lender Commercial International Bank shedding 1.2 percent

DUBAI: Most major stock markets in the Middle East ended lower on Sunday, ahead of the usual flurry of quarterly and full-year corporate results over the next few weeks, with the Qatari index leading the losses.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index lost 0.3 percent, with petrochemicals company Saudi Basic Industries shedding 1.3 percent, and Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services closing 1.7 percent lower.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf region’s financial markets, retreated by more than 2 percent on Friday as concerns about renewed Chinese coronavirus lockdowns tempered a rally driven by strong import data from the world’s biggest crude importer.  Dubai’s main share index fell 0.3 percent, driven down by a 0.5 percent drop for blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.6 percent decline in shares of Emaar Malls. The Abu Dhabi index, however, closed 0.3 percent up, with Etisalat rising 1.1 percent while Aldar Properties finished with a 0.9 percent gain.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has agreed on a deal to produce and export hydrogen as fuel, its state media office said on Sunday.

The Qatar index dropped 0.5 percent, with most stocks in negative territory, including a 0.8 percent decline for petrochemicals producer Industries Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.1 percent, with top lender Commercial International Bank shedding 1.2 percent.