UAE to target brightest Arab minds with new space talent programme

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid put out a call to attract scientists and researchers to a new three-year course

The UAE is seeking the brightest scientists and researchers in the Arab world for a new training course to develop them into space experts.

Successful applicants will be brought to the Emirates and put through an intensive three-year training programme to prepare them for jobs in the space sector.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the Arab Space Pioneers drive was looking for young researchers, scientists, inventors and people with creative talent.

The government will offer scholarships and financial incentives to the best candidates, along with a full three-year residency visa.

Teaching will be both theoretical and hands-on.

Trainees would participate in ongoing UAE projects and have access to job opportunities when they graduate, including the construction of 'advanced satellites'.

“In the coming days, the UAE will launch the Hope probe to Mars, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission," Sheikh Mohammed said.

"And today, we are launching a programme to invite Arab youth to gain expertise in space technologies in the UAE.

“We strive to prepare the next generation of Arab astronomers and space scientists as part of our wider mission to revive the Arab civilisation’s status in the scientific sphere.”

The Arab Space Pioneers programme was unveiled in the run up to the Hope probe launched on July 15.

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," Dubai's government said in a news release.

Dr Ahmad Al Falasi, chairman of the UAE Space Agency and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, said the programme was an investment in future talent for the Arab world.

“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 said.

He said the Mars mission "sends an inspirational message to young Arab minds and talents across the region that the sky is not the limit to their dreams".

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