Emarat Al Youm: UAE Embraces Arab Space Talents

On July 4, 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (may God protect him), announced a new initiative called the Arab Geniuses Space Program. Launched by the UAE Space Agency amidst preparations for the launch of the Hope Probe, it allows citizens of the Arab world to apply to study, train and work in the space field and related sectors in the UAE. Through the scholarship program, the UAE seeks to build a solid scientific base of Arab space scientists, supporting scientific research efforts in space-related-areas.

Opening the door for applicants from all Arab countries to join the program reflects true Arabism in the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership, as well as a firm commitment to advance Arab countries. It also shows that the UAE is keen to provide all possible forms of aid and assistance to fellow Arab countries, believing that any development made by an Arab country is of benefit to the entire Arab world.

Today, the program takes a new step with the start of preparations for screening applicants for the first edition. According to the announcement by Her Excellency Sarah Al-Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, Chairperson of the UAE Space Agency and Leader of the Scientific Team of the Hope Probe Project, participants will be selected for three streams: the expert stream for applicants up to the age of 60; the postgraduate stream for those who want to study master’s and PhD degrees from the United Arab Emirates University and Mohammed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence; and the talents stream, for students from 14 to 20 years old. Thus, the program provides a wide array of opportunities for talented people of all ages.

The program provides financial rewards and paid accommodation in the UAE, and offers opportunities for educational scholarships in 13 major disciplines related to space science. Participants in the program will have the opportunity to work in the UAE space sector and be involved in its ambitious and historic projects, benefiting from an environment that applies the best international practices and standards, while providing promising individuals with significant opportunities for advancement.

The program embodies the UAE’s belief in human competencies as the most valuable assets of any country. The UAE wants to promote this vision as a holistic Arab culture. It believes that Arab capabilities and talents have no limits, and that they can compete and excel if they are given the opportunity, as evidenced by the fact that many universities, major industrial institutions and scientific research centers in the West benefit from Arab talent.

The UAE chose a field for the program in which it has made great progress within a relatively short period of time. It has built huge educational, research, scientific and industrial institutions, created a solid base of competent professionals, established connections with the most prominent international companies and agencies in the space field, and consolidated lessons and experiences in various aspects of space science. This cumulative knowledge and expertise will be made available to those who participate in the program.

This edition of the program is the first of many. It will continue to provide Arab talents with an opportunity to interact with each other, and establish lasting human and practical ties and connections, whether they stay in the country, return to their home countries, or move elsewhere in the global labor market. This will promote the emergence of an ‘Arab scientific community’ in the space field, which will establish ties on the basis of cooperation in science and knowledge, ensuring sustainability and durability. Those enrolled in the program will also feel a great sense of positivity, as they are in a country that instils in its residents hope and optimism.