Sultan Al Neyadi begins journey home to 'beloved UAE'

Emirati astronaut set for hero's welcome today when he returns to the Emirates

Sultan Al Neyadi has begun his journey home to the UAE. Photo: Sultan Al Neyadi / Twitter
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Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has begun his journey back to the UAE for a long-awaited homecoming after his historic six-month mission in space.

Dr Al Neyadi shared a group photo on social media on Monday morning of himself and his travelling party in front of the UAE plane flying him back to the Emirates.

The space traveller is set to receive a hero's welcome when he sets foot on home soil after helping to inspire a new generation of enthusiasts with his achievements.

“We entrust you to God. [We're on our way back] to the beloved United Arab Emirates,” Dr Al Neyadi wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The explorer blasted back to Earth on September 4, since when he has been taking part in a recovery programme in Houston, Texas, to help him get used to gravity again.

Dr Al Neyadi is being joined on the momentous journey home by Hazza Al Mansouri, who was the first Emirati to venture into space in 2019.

The nose of the government aircraft is inscribed with Al Ain, Dr Al Neyadi's hometown.

Abu Dhabi landmarks were lit up on Sunday night in celebration of Dr Al Neyadi's return.

The Adnoc headquarters, Mubadala Tower, Khalifa University and Marina Mall's observation tower were illuminated with images of the explorer.

People can tune into a live-stream of his return to the UAE from 5.30pm at and on YouTube.

Updated: September 18, 2023, 7:36 AM