The Umm Al Quwain chapter of the remarkable “Meeting from Space” initiative, orchestrated by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in partnership with Umm Al Quwain University, witnessed a remarkable convergence of attendees. This diverse audience comprised students, government officials, and space aficionados who united for an unprecedented live discourse with the UAE’s esteemed space representative.
Distinguished figures present at the event included Salem Humaid Al Marri, the Director-General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre; Nasser Saeed Al Talay, the Director of the Emiri Court of Umm Al Quwain; Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain; along with directors from various federal and local departments within the emirate.
A touching highlight of the Umm Al Quwain chapter was the attendance of Sultan’s family members, including his father Saif Al Neyadi, in an unexpected appearance that deeply moved him. Al Neyadi conveyed his joy and extended warm greetings on behalf of their family. A heartwarming moment ensued when Sultan announced his intention to return the toys that had accompanied him to space, along with Suhail.
The event commenced with Sultan’s warm reception of the guests, exuding eagerness to connect with the people of Umm Al Quwain and respond to their queries, thus fulfilling their mutual fascination for space.
In reflection of the occasion, Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the MBRSC, remarked, “Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to the Umm Al Quwain community for their enthusiastic participation, rendering this event truly exceptional. The impressive turnout underscores the event’s significance and the collective spirit that transformed it into a triumphant endeavor. While Sultan embarked on this journey, the unwavering backing and fervent interest of the people have transformed it into a mission shared by every UAE resident. This pursuit has unequivocally elevated the UAE’s status in the realm of space exploration, with the nation’s engagement magnifying its impact even further.”
Umm Al Quwain University served as the host for more than 300 attendees, captivated by Sultan’s enlightening dialogue. His engagement delved deeply into the intricacies of his mission, widely acknowledged as the Arab world’s lengthiest space expedition.
Navigating a spectrum of captivating inquiries, Al Neyadi provided insights spanning crucial areas such as the International Space Station’s navigation system, preparations for his return, and reflections on his transformative experiences over the past six months.
Al Marri articulated, “In an unparalleled endeavor, we embarked on a journey spanning all seven Emirates through our ‘Meeting from Space’ initiative, culminating with the Umm Al Quwain edition. In line with our commitment, each emirate has been immersed in an all-encompassing space encounter, and the response has exceeded expectations. As we eagerly await Sultan’s homecoming, I extend profound gratitude to Sultan’s family, the attendees, and Umm Al Quwain University for hosting this event.”
This landmark marks Al Neyadi’s monumental sixth month in orbit, a mission that has etched new milestones for an Arab astronaut, encompassing the execution of the inaugural Arab spacewalk and critical scientific experiments. As the ‘Meeting from Space’ initiative draws to a close, it has afforded more than 10,000 participants a unique interaction with Al Neyadi, enriching their comprehension of mission intricacies, life on the ISS, and the broader tapestry of space exploration.
The UAE Astronaut Programme stands as one of the pivotal endeavors steered by the MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme. The project’s funding is facilitated by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), a force driving research and development in the UAE’s ICT sector, while also propelling the nation’s integration onto the global stage.