UAE’s MeznSat satellite set for launch in Russia

The MeznSat probe will detect greenhouse gas concentrations once in orbit. (WAM)
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Updated 28 September 2020

UAE’s MeznSat satellite set for launch in Russia

DUBAI: MeznSat, the UAE Space Agency’s latest satellite, is set for launch from the Plesetsk space center in northwestern Russia today as part of the country’s ambitious space strategy.

MeznSat, which detects greenhouse gas concentrations, was built by students from the Khalifa University and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah. The probe once in orbit will send data to the two universities’ ground stations, where it will be analyzed and processed, state news agency WAM reported

“Climate change has widely been attributed to the increase in GHGs in the atmosphere as a result of human activities. The impacts of climate change are expected to include shortage of water quantity and quality in most arid and semi-arid areas, and low agricultural productivity throughout the tropics and subtropics, accompanied by damage to ecosystems and biodiversity in these areas, and changes in forests and other ecosystems,” the space agency said in its website.

“Carbon Dioxide and Methane are the two most prevalent Greenhouse gases. Both emissions (methane and carbon dioxide) have to be addressed and monitored in order to effectively reduce the impact of climate change,” it added

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of UAE, earlier reviewed plans to send the first Arab mission to the moon by 2024 to be manned by Emirati astronauts.

The UAE’s new 2021-2031 strategy particularly covers the Mars Exploration Project “Hope Probe” 2117 Strategy, the Astronaut Program, the Satellite Development Program and the UAE Space Sector Sustainability Program.


Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA. (Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2020

Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

  • The program includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women

DUBAI: Several Saudi ministries have teamed up with tech giant Google to launch a set of projects aimed at helping the Kingdom’s economic strategy and digital transformation.

Google said the initiatives will focus on Saudi Arabia and the MENA region and will boost economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic. The program, named “Grow stronger with Google,” will include a comprehensive list of digital tools, grants and training opportunities to support local businesses and job seekers across the region. In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.
“We are proud to partner with Google in this initiative to bring value to Saudi nationals, residents and local businesses, especially SMEs through bringing them together using the Google ‘My Business’ platform,” said President of the Saudi Post Anef Abanomi.
“Through this partnership we aim to list up to 100,000 businesses in the first phase in line with Saudi Post’s strategic transformation objectives to improve quality of life and help SMEs achieve their e-commerce and digitization goals,” he added.
Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA, said in a press release: “During the pandemic, online tools have been a lifeline for many in Saudi Arabia. Making the most of the online opportunity can help Saudi people, businesses and communities and in the wider region bounce back stronger.” He said the program will equip businesses and individuals in the Kingdom with digital skills, especially in sectors that have been most affected by the pandemic, such as retail and tourism.

HIGHLIGHT

In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.

The tech giant has also partnered with several Saudi bodies — including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Tourism — to implement the programs. One project is set to train 50,000 students and businesses in digital marketing.
“We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future of this region, and we’re confident that by working together with local partners, we can boost recovery and build on the rapid acceleration of tech adoption we’ve seen during the crisis,” Cattaruzzi said.
The program also includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women.
Google said it wants to help 1 million people and businesses throughout the MENA region learn digital skills and grow businesses by the end of 2021.