H.E Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi

Director General

UAE Space Agency

Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi is the UAE Space Agency’s Director General and has more than 20 years of public and private sector leadership experience in military aviation, security, and defense. He is responsible for setting the Agency’s strategic direction, delivering on its mandate to strengthen the space sector, and contributing to the nation’s vision for sustainable economic growth and diversification. 
Al Qubaisi joined the UAE Space Agency as Director General in September 2021. He served as a member of its board of directors from 2018, providing critical oversight on operations and major projects such as the Emirates Mars Mission. 
Today, he leads the Agency’s ambitious efforts to encourage the development of space science and advanced technologies, set relevant regulations, establish bilateral and multilateral partnerships, enhance national capabilities, and promote peaceful applications for deep space research. 
Al Qubaisi formerly served as a board member with Abu Dhabi’s Monitoring and Control Centre (ADMCC) from 2016. It followed five years with the National Commission of International Humanitarian Law under the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. 
Between 2011 and 2013, he was the Director of Nuclear Security at the Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation, setting relevant regulations and overseeing licensing for commercial companies handling nuclear and radioactive material. 
Prior to this, he spent five years with the US aerospace company, Lockheed Martin as a Technical Program Manager for the Ministry of Defense, where he worked on avionics, radar, weaponry, and technology targeting systems from 1999 and 2005. 
Al Qubaisi has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, Arlington. He is also an honor graduate from Abu Dhabi’s National Defence College, holding a master’s degree in Strategic and Security Studies. 



  • How can space agencies have a transformational impact on the space environment?
  • How are they utilising space as driver for economy and advancement of science & technology?
  • How can competition between newly established space agencies and established agencies be channeled to capture the energy of the space race?
  • How do we redefine what it means to be a space agency in the age of commercial space programmes?

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