Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, also chair of the UAE Space Agency, says future-focus will continue to be core goals over next 50 years
Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and chair of the UAE Space Agency, has credited the UAE’s success in adopting innovation and advanced technologies with maximising the country’s soft power.
She said the UAE’s positive influence and increasing soft power was the result of “conscious planning, effort and determination”.
Her comments follow the UAE being ranked first regionally and 10th globally for its influence in the Global Soft Power Index (GSPI) 2022, developed by UK-based Brand Finance.
The UAE’s overall Soft Power score improved more than 11 percent, climbing to the 15th spot globally on the overall GSPI ranking, up from 17th place in 2021. The UAE has retained the top spot in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Al Amiri added that innovation and a future-focus will also be core goals as the UAE charts a pioneering course towards the next 50 years.
Her remarks were made during the Global Soft Power Summit 2022, which was held in London.
Participating in a panel discussion, Al Amiri pointed out that over the past five decades, the UAE has built a positive reputation as a regional and international centre for economy, trade and business, in addition to its position as a logistics hub linking East with West.
It has also become a leading destination for innovation and future sectors, as well as a global touristic destination, she added.
Al Amiri also said that the UAE seeks to bolster its investment in tangible infrastructure and achieve further economic diversification so as to enhance the economy’s sustainability, drive competitiveness, and keep pace with emerging trends.
She said the tireless efforts made by the UAE were being driven by the vision of its leadership to establish a strong scientific and research infrastructure.
Al Amiri also touched on the historical achievement of the Emirates Mars Mission project.
“Achieving such feats does not imply avoiding challenges, but rather developing the ability to adapt to them and turn them into promising opportunities. If there is one aspect of soft power that the Emirates can truly call its own, it is a focus on the future,” she said.
“A nation of 195 nationalities, we play home to millions of people from around the world who work, learn, thrive and play in absolute security, safety, stability and an environment of tolerance and opportunity. Our startups are looking ahead to the future. Our researchers and scientists, our space systems engineers and our young dreamers, all have a renewed focus on the road ahead. Our leaders are constantly investing in, betting on, looking to the future.”
She added: “The Emirates’ next mission will be to investigate the asteroid belt – a task five times again more complex than our current assets. The private sector contribution to that mission will be significant – and will not only help to fund the development of our space sector, but give our young companies heritage to support their commercial operations globally.
“We are developing multiple points of capability, of space systems engineering, of research, of innovation in space.”
According to Al Amiri, the UAE now aims to establish its advanced industries sector, enhance the research and science sectors, and inspire the youth to learn about these promising sectors, study and specialise in future fields.