Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi appointed to UAE Cabinet in reshuffle

Several key ministers given new and amended roles

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Mariam Almheiri and Sultan Al Neyadi were all given new or amended roles in the Cabinet.
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Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has been made a minister in the UAE Cabinet.

The appointment came as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, released details of a reshuffle on Saturday.

Dr Al Neyadi will serve as Minister of State for Youth, which Sheikh Mohammed said was influenced by public nominations for who should fill the position.

Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, will leave her post to serve as Head of the International Affairs Office in the Presidential Court.

She is succeeded by Dr Amna Al Shamsi, who has quickly moved up the ranks of young government officials to a cabinet post, Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, takes on an expanded role as Deputy Prime Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs.

In other changes, Mohammed Fadel Al Mazrouei was appointed Minister of State for Defence Affairs.

He was previously an undersecretary in the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and an adviser to the Presidential Court.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “2024 will be a good year … the most beautiful and greatest in the history of the Emirates, God willing.”

Speaking about Dr Al Neyadi, Sheikh Mohammed added: “All the best to Sultan, he will continue to perform his scientific and space duties in addition to his new responsibilities.

“We are with you in this mission.”

Dr Al Neyadi returned from his six-month mission on board the International Space Station in September.

Sheikh Mohammed launched the search for a Youth Minister in the same month, with young Emiratis encouraged to register their interest in the role.

Dr Al Shamsi, the country's new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, was formerly assistant undersecretary of the care and capacity building sector at the Ministry of Education.

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Sultan Al Neyadi's homecoming - in pictures

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“Amna is one of the distinguished federal cadres and we have been following her for several years, as she led a group of strategic projects in the federal government,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“She has a major mission in the environment file, developing the agricultural sector and consolidating security.”

Sheikh Mohammed praised Dr Al Shamsi's predecessor, Ms Al Mheiri.

“Mariam provided a lot to the UAE in the issue of environment and food security internally and externally. She was praised by everyone who dealt with her at home and abroad,” he said.

“She led the UAE’s bid at Cop28 with all professionalism and competence.”

As well as being appointed Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mr Al Mazrouei becomes a member of the Council of Ministers, Sheikh Mohammed said.

Referring to Sheikh Maktoum's expanded role as Deputy Prime Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Maktoum ably led the Ministry of Finance in addition to a group of economic and commercial files at the local and federal levels.

“He established balance in our financial policies federally and locally. We trust him.”

Updated: January 06, 2024, 3:26 PM