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In the run up to the first Arab probe lift-off to Mars ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme launched

Photo: Dubai Media Office

By Dubai Media Office

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of the ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme that aims to build Arab expertise in space science and technologies.

Overseen by the UAE Space Agency, the programme will equip young Arab researchers, scientists, inventors and creative talents with skills and expertise required to lead a career in the growing space sector. 

The three-year intensive training programme incubates young talents and expands their career prospects in the region’s emerging space technologies.

On his Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “In the coming days, the UAE will launch the Hope Probe to Mars, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. And today, we are launching a programme to invite Arab youth to gain expertise in space technologies in the UAE.” He added, “We strive to prepare the next generation of Arab astronomers and space scientists as part of our wider mission to revive the Arab civilization’s status in the scientific sphere.”

Candidates with a passion for space science and a scientific background can apply on the website ArabsToSpace.com. Applications will be evaluated based on qualifications and achievements in research and science fields.

The ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme was launched in the run up to the UAE’s historic launch of the Hope Probe to Mars, scheduled on July 15, 2020, in the first ever Arab mission to the Red Planet. The Emirates Mars Mission aims to spark an Arab exploration of outer space, build a space industry in the region and advance regional and national capabilities in this sector.

The programme seeks to help the region’s talents in the creative and scientific industry to practice their passion in space science through specialized training in the UAE, which has long invested in the space sector, making it the Arab world’s most advanced.

It aims to invest in young Arab capacities who, in turn, can actively contribute to the global science community and drive scientific, economic and social development in their societies. The programme highlights the importance of investing in the multi-faceted space technology as a major driver of the future knowledge-based economy in the region.

Programme benefits

Participants in the ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme will receive a number of benefits including a fully-covered three-year residency in the UAE, a world-class specialized training in space science and technology, an opportunity to build advanced satellites in the UAE and access to scholarships and other financial incentives. Joining the programme also increases job opportunities and provides an opportunity to join teams of Emirati researchers, engineers and experts in a number of space projects.

The intensive programme combines theorical and hands-on practical training by enabling participants to contribute to the UAE Space Agency’s present and future projects. On the long run, the programme aims to contribute to enriching the region’s growing space sector with a pool of young Arab experts and specialists equipped with the needed skills to lead in the new field.

Inspiring Young Minds

His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency said, “the ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme responds to the rising ambitions and passion of the young Arab generation in advanced sciences and space, and tackles the need to invest in the future economy.”

He added, “Announcing the programme in line with the countdown to the historic launch of the UAE’s Mars Hope Probe sends an inspirational message to young Arab minds and talents across the region that the sky is not the limit to their dreams. The programme enables them to make their dreams a profound reality, presenting the UAE as a live example that embedded the culture of possibilities in its approach and work philosophy.”

Belhoul noted, “Building expertise in space science and technology enables youth to actively contribute to global efforts towards creating a sustainable future for mankind.”

He stressed that the country’s visionary leaders have noticed early on the importance of investing in the space industry and related advanced technologies to support development. “Our leadership is keen to place the expertise gained over the past years in an advanced training programme that combines theory with hands-on practice to prepare the next generation of Arab space specialists who are valuable to their societies.”

Belhoul referred to the Hope Probe as a “giant leap in the development of science in the Arab world, through which we revive the proud history of the Arab Islamic region as the cradle of civilization in its golden age.”

UAE Space Agency

The UAE Space Agency was formed in 2014 to regulate and coordinate the UAE’s growing space sector by cultivating national expertise and establishing strategic partnerships in the industry. The Agency contributes to meeting the country’s objectives to diversify the economy and build a knowledge-based future, positioning the UAE as a main contributor to the regional and global space industry. 

The Agency is assigned with developing space policies, strategies and plans, directing national space programmes and supporting research in theorical and practical fields. In partnership with relevant authorities locally and internationally, the Agency provides world-class opportunities in the space sector and works to establish and manage investment projects as economic opportunities, in addition to organizing conferences and forums to address issues related to the growing industry.