Hazza Al Mansouri shares photo of UAE by night

Astronaut to return to Earth on Thursday after landmark eight-day mission

The UAE from space, photographed by Hazza Al Mansouri. Courtesy Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre
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In less than a day the UAE's first astronaut will be back on Earth but he was sure to spend his last few hours taking advantage of the unique view from space.

Hazza Al Mansouri has shared a few photos of the Earth while on his eight-day mission at the International Space Station but among the most striking was the one posted by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre on Twitter on Wednesday.

The image showed the UAE by night. Clusters of light connected by thin golden lines - the lamp posts illuminating the country's main motorways - made identifying each emirate easy.

Dubai shines the brightest with almost a white light visible from space while Abu Dhabi and Al Ain can also clearly be seen.

A faint outline of the country is barely visible at the very northern tip of the country, specifically in the less inhabited areas of neighbouring Oman.

Maj Al Mansouri then went one step further and posted an image of his hometown, Liwa, on Twitter.

On Thursday, Maj Al Mansouri will begin his descent to Earth. He will land in one of three designated sites in Kazakhstan at about 3pm UAE time.

The journey to Earth will take about eight hours beginning from the closure of the Soyuz spacecraft's hatch.