UAE Current Affairs - 2020

UAE’s Hazza Al Mansouri became first Arab Astronaut in space

The United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) Hazza Al Mansouri became the first Emirati and the first Arab astronaut to travel to International Space Station (ISS). However he is only the 3rd Arab in space after Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia (1985), and Mohammad Faris (1987) of Syria.

He blasted into space accompanied by Oleg Skripochka of Russia and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir onboard a Soyuz MS-15 rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

About Hazza Al Mansouri

The 35-year-old is a former pilot in the UAE armed forces. He will be the first Emirati astronaut and first Arab on orbiting laboratory of ISS, but not the first Muslim.

He will spend 8 days at International Space Station (ISS) doing scientific experiments with other international astronauts.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center provided Al Mansoori with a 10kg bag, which includes important elements of Emirati heritage, culture and history, which will be placed in museums upon his return.

UAE’s Space Plans

As part of UAE’s space plans, the Arab nation has announced its aim to also become the first Arab country to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars by 2021.  The country has named its Mars mission as “Hope”.

In the long-term, UAE also plans to build a “Science City” to replicate life on Mars. It also aims to create the first human settlement on red planet by 2117.

ISALEX19: ISAs joint security exercise begins

Abu Dhabi, capital of United Area Emirates (UAE) is hosting International Security Alliance (ISAs) first joint security exercise named ISALEX19.

About ISALEX19

Activity Undertaken: It will simulate a real-life security threat in a virtual context, to test readiness of different teams and to evaluate strategies, procedures and tools developed jointly between member countries since formation of Alliance in 2017.

Participants: Representatives of 50 law enforcement agencies of ISA are taking part in 1st joint security exercise in Abu Dhabi.  Participants include representatives from tactical teams, communications, civil defence, rapid intervention units and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams.

About International Security Alliance

It is an international working group to confront organised, transnational and extremist crimes by joint security cooperation projects and exchange of expertise on practices implemented across ISA member countries.

It was launched in 2017 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Headquarters: Abu Dhabi.

Members (9): ISA now comprises of nine countries viz. Bahrain, Morocco, France, Italy, Spain, Senegal, Singapore, Slovak Republic and United Arab Emirates.