Registration has been closed for the first round of the UAE Arab Space Pioneers, as the initiative attracted a whopping 37,000 applications from the Arab youth community within two weeks of its launch.
As UAE started its countdown to its first and historic Mars mission – Hope Probe, His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had launched the first-of-its-kind advanced training program earlier this month.
The initiative, managed by the UAE Space Agency, aims to develop the next generation of Arab astronomers and space scientists and encourage the talents of the region to bring their zeal for space-related studies.
As the first round of registration closed in the midst of the overwhelming response, a specialized committee of scientists, researchers and thinkers are set to evaluate applicants based on their scientific and research qualifications and achievements, as well as innovative skills that can be developed.
Egypt took the lead in the number of applications with a total of 19,391, followed by Iraq (6,447), Algeria (4,836), Morocco (3,107), the UAE (692), Jordan (681), Palestine (422), Syria (406), Tunisia (370) and Saudi Arabia (361).
The Arab Space Pioneers have recorded high engagement from the Arab world on social media channels and academic forums. The www(dot)arabstospace(dot)com website has received also excellent views and visits.
Dr. Ahmed Belhoul, chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said that the overwhelming response to the Arab Space Pioneers program shows the value of these innovative initiatives that respond to the aspirations of the Arab youth.
The program, he said, represents Sheik Mohammed’s dream of inspiring, motivating and encouraging the youth to lead the scientific development of the region effectively.
Arab Space Pioneers will be a three-year program during which participants will be granted full residency in the UAE; world-class space science and technology specialist training; and an opportunity to develop advanced satellites in the region. Scholarships and other financial opportunities will also factor in.
Participating in the program also increases one’s chance of joining the team of Emirati researchers, engineers and experts in a variety of space projects.
The rigorous curriculum incorporates theoretical and practical preparation, allowing participants to contribute to current and future projects of the UAE Space Agency.