Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi

Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi is the Director General of the UAE Space Agency and played a key role in its establishment.

Established by federal decree in 2014 the UAE Space Agency is the first national space agency in the Arabian Gulf region. It is instrumental in driving and encouraging the expansion of space exploration and educational activities, including the UAE’s ambitious space exploration programmes, such as the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe.

Dr. Al Ahbabi  is known for his leadership, management and strategic planning skills.

He is an expert in communications, information systems and defence concepts.

UAE role

Dr. Al Ahbabi has played a key role in numerous UAE projects, such as the establishment of the National Space Science and Technology Center at the UAE University and management of a defence sector Centre of Excellence.

In addition to overseeing the formation and development of many strategic projects for the UAE he is also a member of several national and international boards and advisory committees.

Dr. Al Ahbabi was elected to serve as the Vice President for Global Membership Development of the International Astronautical Federation.

Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi
The UAE Space Agency pavilion at the 2019 Dubai Airshow. Credit: Arnold Pinto

He is a member of the advisory board of the International Space University in France and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education for Western Asia affiliated to the United Nations.

He helped establish the Arab Space Cooperation Group which was formed in the UAE in 2019 by 14 Arab countries.

He is also a board member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences.

National initiatives

Dr. Al Ahbabi has extensive experience in the development of human resources and is a strong believer in the UAE’s capability in developing world-class industries.

He obtained a PhD in communications from the University of Southampton from the United Kingdom in 2005, and a master’s degree from the same university in communications in 2001.

He completed a degree in electronic engineering from the University of California in 1998, in addition to many specialised military and government courses.

Dr. Al Ahbabi has also won a series of honours and awards over the years.

Dr. Al Ahbabi has tremendous experience in civil and military work and academia.

He became a telecommunications officer for the UAE Armed Forces, until he reached the rank of Major.

During that period, he also worked as a coordinator for Dubai Internet City, until 2000, then as a telecommunications officer for Sharyan Al Doea Network and a project manager for Yahsat military division from 2005 to 2012.

Strategic projects

He also helped to establish strategic projects, including the innovation and development centre for the UAE Armed Forces which allowed him to work closely with partners and stakeholders.

Dr. Al Ahbabi has contributed and led numerous strategic projects in the ICT domain to benefit the UAE government.

He is also a board member of YahSat and of the UAE ICT fund where he chaired the sector’s development committee as well as projects committee.

Dr. Al Ahbabi is also a key speaker at international and local conferences and events in the area of space, communication, electronic security and defence.

In addition to scientific and research contributions, he published more than 20 scientific papers during his graduate studies.

He has worked also with international working groups, to maintain the peaceful use of outer space.

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