The team behind the UAE's momentous Mars mission and doctors who played a central role in the fight against Covid-19 were among those honoured during a Dubai awards ceremony celebrating global innovation and ingenuity.
The seventh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award ceremony, held on Tuesday, highlighted people and organisations that have made significant contributions to the world.
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed, chairwoman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and member of the Dubai Council, said the award aims to promote knowledge-based economic growth and sustainable development.
“In line with Dubai’s vision for social, cultural and economic development, the award seeks to promote knowledge, innovation, creativity and enterprise in the region and beyond,” Sheikha Latifa said.
“We are committed to launching initiatives that can advance Dubai’s goal of stimulating knowledge and innovation-driven growth, especially by harnessing young talent.”
The Emirates Mars Mission's Hope probe — which has been in the orbit of the Red Planet since February 2021 — was recognised for its achievements in the organisation category.
Zhang Yongzhen was recognised in the individual category for his efforts to control and prevent rabies and haemorrhagic fever as well as his work in sequencing and publishing the genome of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
In addition, both biochemist and researcher Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman were recognised for their contributions to mRNA technology and the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
UAE ranks high in knowledge index
During the ceremony held at the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, Sheikha Latifa announced the results of the Global Knowledge Index 2022, issued in co-operation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
The UAE topped the technical education category in the sixth annual index, which featured 132 countries.
“The index aims to contribute to the development and enrichment of a knowledge-based society, a powerful driver of sustainable development,” said Sheikh Latifa.
“Education, a vital element in building a nation’s knowledge capital, is one of the most important categories of the index.”
Sheikh Mohammed meets winners
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, received the award winners at his weekly majlis held at Zabeel Palace in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed his appreciation for the role intellectuals, scholars and scientists play in enhancing human progress.
“Since its establishment, the UAE has focused on promoting sustainable development driven by knowledge and innovation,” he said.
“The work of scholars, intellectuals and scientists is vital to human development and the world’s ability to combat challenges. Knowledge empowers societies to create a bright future.”
The majlis was attended by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed, chairman of Dubai Media Council; and number of other officials, ministers and government department heads.