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Sat 18 Jul 2020 02:29 PM

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UAE's space development programme for young Arabs attracts 37,000 applications

Applications for Arab Space Pioneers programme is now closed, with Egypt accounting for half of those seeking to take part

UAE's space development programme for young Arabs attracts 37,000 applications

Applicants will be evaluated based on qualifications and backgrounds in science and research and creative skills.


The UAE’s Arab Space Pioneers programme attracted 37,000 applications in two weeks, with officials saying registration is now closed following the overwhelming response.

The programme, overseen by the UAE Space Agency, aims to build Arab expertise in space science and technologies and empower the region’s talents in the creative and scientific industry to practice their passion in space-related studies.

Egypt dominated the applications, with 19,391 seeking to take part in three-year specialised programme, followed by Iraq (6,447), Algeria (4,836), Morocco (3,107), UAE (692), Jordan (681), Palestine (422), Syria (406), Tunisia (370) and Saudi Arabia (361).

Applicants will be evaluated based on qualifications and backgrounds in science and research and creative skills.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the first-of-its-kind specialised training programme earlier in July in line with the UAE’s Hope probe launch to Mars in the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. 

Dr. Ahmed Belhoul, chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said the response to the Arab Space Pioneers programme confirms the importance of such innovative initiatives that respond to Arab youth’s aspirations.

Participants in the Arab Space Pioneers programme will receive a number of benefitsy, including a fully-covered three-year residency in the UAE, specialised training in space science and technology, an opportunity to build advanced satellites in the UAE and access to scholarships and other financial incentives. Joining the programme also increases the opportunity to join teams of Emirati researchers, engineers and experts in a number of space projects. 

The intensive programme combines theoretical and hands-on practical training by enabling participants to contribute to the UAE Space Agency’s present and future projects.

In the long run, the programme aims to contribute to enriching the region’s growing space sector with a pool of young Arab experts and specialists equipped with the needed skills to lead in the new field.

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