The UAE's Mars space probe was launched from Japan in July 2020.

Why has the UAE chosen, specifically, Japan for launching its Mars space probe?

There are many governments and private companies around the world that run space programs and provide commercial space launch services. E.g. SpaceX, Sea launch, NASA, China, India, Russia, and so on. I am curious why they have chosen Japan's JAXA.

  • I feel that this belongs to Politics, since UAE as a state (not a private company?) made this decision, but you should provide a little more context. This article suggests "[UAE] (..) seeking to move away from a reliance on oil and further develop local expertise in science and technology." which can be considered a political decision.
    – Alexei
    Jul 20, 2020 at 10:47
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    @Alexei, there are many countries and private companies around the world that run space programs and commercial space launches. E.g. SpaceX, Sealaunch, NASA, China, India, Russia, and so on. I am curious why they have chosen Japan.
    – user366312
    Jul 20, 2020 at 10:51
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    @Alexei IMHO this is more a question for space. Jul 20, 2020 at 11:21
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    It's likely a commercial decision, but we aren't privy to this kind of commercial information. If they had chosen SpaceX or Russia (for example) would you be asking the same question. They had to choose a launch provider, why not JAXA?
    – James K
    Jul 20, 2020 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


UAE relationship with Japan is mainly for exporting crude oil and natural gas and importing CARS and heavy mechanical parts, electronics and equipments. Not very much apart from that. Maybe because of huge language barrier.

Thinking the UAE Way UAE loves Car LoL

Okay so; apart from this

They would have thought of making good technological relationship with some Asian country and when they thought Japan suited them the most. Factors which might have played are following according to me:

Japan has neutral/peaceful secular political relation with other countries so far so improving relationship with Japan seemed to be logical.

In long term since it is not going to get involved into any political twist and turn. The trade(resulting from good relations) will be stable.

Japan has good tech infrastructure which might be helpful to UAE in future to move its economy off the oil.

Also Japan's JAXA is new and is keen for opportunities this motive from UAE will bring about good relationship & trusting capabilites of JAXA is evident from Japanese work culture.

Opting for private companies is no where in list. It will be better if you ask - Why UAE did not opt for X country over Japan.

With other countries he already have good relations so far. And it was the good time to give JAXA the work since they needed one.Instead giving it to someone which reaps out nothing as compared to JAPAN. Building new relationships are always favourable if possible without harming current ones.

After oil ends their economy will be based mainly on relationships so more the number(of relationship hands) better the success rate and lower the risk.

  • 1
    Regarding your first paragraph, you might want to check out the trade statistics between Japan and Saudi Arabia. What you write is not completely wrong, but also not 100% correct either.
    – Philipp
    Jul 20, 2020 at 22:18
  • Added some more imp/export materials
    – daemon
    Jul 20, 2020 at 22:24
  • {citation needed] Jul 20, 2020 at 23:02
  • citation is my brain and daily experience
    – daemon
    Jul 21, 2020 at 10:45

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