Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed visits UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi in Al Ain

Umm Ghafa continues to celebrate the return of local hero after he spent six months aboard the International Space Station

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Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, attended celebrations held in honour of UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi.

The reception event was held at Saif Al Neyadi's house in the Umm Ghafa area of Al Ain, state news agency Wam reported.

Sheikh Khaled congratulated Dr Al Neyadi for completing his historic six-month mission to the International Space Station, highlighting how the achievement marked a proud moment for the UAE leadership, government and its people.

“Our youth has the potential to harness the opportunities and use its creativity to achieve excellence,” Sheikh Khaled said.

“Their confidence and commitment has now been proven in space and in advanced technology. They serve as an inspiration for more young Emiratis to venture forward and create history.”

He also commended the work of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in planning the mission and ensuring its success.

“Sultan Al Neyadi and the team have proved to be inspiring models of the UAE's ambitious youth. Their example will help further accelerate the UAE's efforts to grow its presence in the space sector,” Sheikh Khaled said.

During the event, Sheikh Khaled discussed how the UAE continues to contribute to space exploration by supporting advanced scientific research and experiments to find solutions to challenges in space science and technology.

Dr Al Neyadi was given a hero's welcome in his hometown in Al Ain on Monday.

He celebrated with members of his local community, a few days after returning to the Emirates after his six-month mission to the ISS.

He arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday, where he was received by President Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

At the reception on Monday, Dr Al Neyadi handed Sheikh Mohamed an Emirati flag that had been to space. Sheikh Mohamed unfurled the flag for television cameras.

Sultan Al Neyadi's homecoming – in pictures

Updated: September 22, 2023, 6:02 PM