The Gulf region is host to a wide range of space actors, ranging from relatively advanced space players with ambitious long-term targets to countries with a more marginal space sector. To overcome their economic dependence on oil and gas resources, countries in the region are implementing diversification plans focusing on sectors such as renewable energies, transportation, tourism, trade and infrastructures.
The Gulf countries focus on satellite communications, with public operators launching foreign-built large communication satellites. The downstream use of Earth Observation data is also widely used in many sectors, including oil and gas infrastructure.
Satellite systems, space science and human spaceflight are expected to grow significantly in the near future, bearing untapped potential for closer collaboration. Investments involving transportation and infrastructures are expected to spill over into the downstream space sector, increasing the demand for Earth Observation data for monitoring and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) services. The use of the latter could be intensified to increase the technological added value of the aviation sector, the Geographic Information System services, and the construction industry. The regional space race is also triggering demand for capabilities such as space science equipment and launch vehicles.
For European space companies, the main market opportunities in the region are forecasted to be related to infrastructure monitoring, transportation, logistics, and natural resources protection. Potential application of EU space-enabled technology range in fact from construction site progress supervision to autonomous driving IT infrastructure, manned aviation air control, and oil spill detection.