GN DUBAI - The UAE’s soon-to-be-approved space law will aim to welcome space tourism companies to invest and operate in the country, a top UAE official has said. Local and foreign investors will be protected under the law, as it will give them “security and the right environment” to make their investments.

“Space tourism is coming and it’s a trend worldwide. Our law is an advance for that. We will have a document that legalises and also regulates space flights. It’s not there yet, but it’s coming. It has put the right regulation for these kinds of activities. The law is addressing space tourism,” the director-general of the UAE Space Agency, Dr Mohammed AlAhbabi, told Khaleej Times.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the agency’s fifth anniversary celebrations. In the past few years, there has been a major boost in the number of private space companies. Many of these entities offer governments a launcher to send their satellites to orbit.

For example, the UAE tied up with a firm called Arianespace recently for the launch of its Falcon Eye 1 satellite. However, the satellite was destroyed after the rocket launcher failed. The country will be launching its backup satellite, Falcon Eye 2, by the end of this year.

The UAE has used other commercial firms to launch nine of their satellites. Now, this new law will allow these kinds of companies to operate from the UAE - significantly boosting the country’s space economy.