UAE Space Agency Launches Youth Council to Empower the Next Generation of Emirati Space Leaders

28 December 2017

The UAE Space Agency has launched a Youth Council to inspire, support, and empower talented young Emiratis with an interest in space. Formed as a result of the Agency’s efforts to foster a generation of young Emirati space leaders, the Council was launched today during an official ceremony at the UAE Space Agency headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

The ceremony was held in the presence of H.E. Dr. Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; H.E. Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Chairperson of the Emirates Youth Council; H.E. Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency; and other senior officials and representatives.

“The Launch of the UAE Space Agency Youth Council comes in line with the Agency’s efforts. The Council aims to empower ambitious, Emirati youth, to lead the national space sector and contribute to the UAE’s vision,” stated His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency. “The Council operates in the framework of “UAE Centennial 2071” vision, which aims to empower the people of the UAE to realize their talents and capabilities to serve the nation’s economic, social and technological objectives – and ultimately be the best nation by 2071.”

He added: “The UAE’s space sector relies mainly on the national human capital, especially highly-skilled youth. The UAE Space Agency attracts some of the most talented and brightest minds in the country, with its one-of-a-kind projects in sectors such as space, digital infrastructure, clean energy, and, advanced skills and sciences. The projects target Emirati youth who are driven by the pursuit of developing innovative solutions and have a passion for problem-solving. The Council creates an enabling environment for youth, and fosters their ideas by equipping them with the right tools to reach their full potential.”

H.E. Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “This initiative comes as part of our commitment to inspiring youth and supporting them in learning and developing. Encouraging youth to enter the space sector is a key goal of the UAE Space Agency and a part of UAE Vision 2021 to ensure that the UAE develops the human capital necessary to create a world-leading knowledge economy. We seek to prepare and nurture generations of talented UAE nationals to become leaders in the space industry and related technological fields.”

“This Council is vital to ensuring the voices of our youth are heard within the national and international space community. The youth are the future of our industry, and nowhere is this more true than in the UAE where our young people have been given the immense responsibility of elevating our nation and its space capabilities to new heights,” concluded H.E. Al Ahbabi.

Hamed Abdullah Fadqaa, Emirates Youth Council Coordinator, said: “Young people around the world have the potential to contribute directly to elevating any nation thanks to their ambition, perseverance, and determination. The establishment of this Council aims to provide a platform for Emirati youth to share their innovative ideas and locate the resources they need to implement them, in collaboration with various government, scientific, and research entities within the UAE.

Several events were organized on the side-lines of the launch ceremony, such as a display of a Tesla electric car, which will be sent to Mars, a detailed explanation of the Space Settlements initiative being launched by the newly-formed Council, and a painting that sought to encapsulate the motivations the Emirati youth, signed by H.E. Dr. Ahmad Abdullah Belhoul Al Falasi and a number of young UAE Space Agency employees.

The ceremony also featured the appearance of the young inventor Fatema al Kaabi who showcased some of her inventions. Students from the Masdar Institute also presented their model of a satellite. Finally, towards the end of the ceremony, a group photo was later taken using a drone.