The UAE Space Agency announced that 10 winners have been selected to join the Arab Space Pioneers Programme’s inaugural edition, the first intensive scientific training programme of its kind in the Arab world.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the specialised training programme earlier in July in line with the launch of the UAE’s Hope Probe to Mars – the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
The Arab Space Pioneers Programme, overseen by the UAE Space Agency, aims to prepare Arab talent across various disciplines of space science, research and technology, and nurture the scientific competencies of Arab youth that are passionate about space exploration and science.
More than 37,000 applications were submitted when the competition was announced last summer.
They included applications from Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, the UAE, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The candidates chosen for the Talent Track include Muhammad Al Sayed Subai (17 years), Salah El Din Jalal (17 years) and Nuran Al Sayed (16 years) from Egypt, Nuran Al Youssef (16 years) and Fatima Al Abdullah (16 years) from Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Zakaria (15 years) from Algeria, and Muhammad Al Jroub (16 years) from Jordan. Finally, the candidates selected in the Student Track are Maria Muhammad from Comoros, Muhammad Abdel Jawad from Syria, and Asmaa Al Mismari from Saudi Arabia.
The programme is split into three categories. The Student Track offers scholarships and training in UAE labs and universities, and the Talent Track helps youth learn more about space.
Scientists, specialists and professionals in space-related fields fall into the Expert Track. They are chosen to help support the designing and developing satellites, processing space data and assist in other projects.
Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The Arab Space Pioneers Programme identifies the most competent Arab scientific talent, and works with them to translate their passion for space sciences into reality, develop their ideas through providing specialised training, and thereby, contribute to strengthening the Arab space sector.
“Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the programme last summer to empower and build the capabilities of Arab students interested in studying space sciences. Through inspiring them to continue pursuing a STEM-focused education, the Programme reflects the UAE’s vision to continue investing in the youth of the region for the greater benefit of humanity, in areas related to innovation and shaping a knowledge economy – specifically, in the space sector.”
Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, added: “The Arab Space Pioneers Programme is an intensive scientific programme to build the competencies of Arab youth in space technology and advanced sciences. In its first cycle, the programme nurtures a team of aspiring and competent young people, meticulously, selected from across the UAE and the wider Arab region to reinforce their skills and contribute to the UAE’s efforts to shape a space ecosystem in the country.
“The programme is off to a great start and we have our finalists for the Talent and Student tracks in place. We are confident that our first cadre of participants will significantly strengthen the Arab space sector, as part of the wider Arab Space Cooperation Group that comprises 14 Arab countries.”
Participants in the Arab Space Pioneers Programme will also benefit from a fully covered three-year residency in the UAE, a world-class specialised training in space science and technology, an opportunity to build advanced satellites in the UAE and also receive scholarships and other financial incentives. Through the Programme, they gain an opportunity to engage and collaborate with teams of Emirati researchers, engineers, and experts across multiple space projects.
The intensive programme combines theoretical and hands-on practical training through enabling participants to contribute to the UAE Space Agency’s present and future projects.