ABU DHAB The Central Bank of the UAE has announced that it will be issuing a commemorative coin in celebration of Hazzaa Al Mansoori, the first Emirati to travel to space. “His launch marked a significant day in our history as a nation,” the Central Bank said in a statement yesterday.

“We also take the time to remember our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the pivotal role he played in Hazzaa and UAE’s success. For back in the 1980s, fuelled by a strong desire to have the UAE be a key player in space missions, he sat with NASA astronauts and shared with them his vision. His successor, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, spared no costs in building on his father’s goals and driving UAE’s progress. This initiative from the Central Bank aims to pay tribute to UAE’s visionary leadership and to recognise Major Hazzaa Al Mansoori’s heroic efforts in realising their ambitions,” according to the statement. Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, bank governor, said, “It is an important milestone in the UAE’s history and it is essential to commemorate Hazzaa Al Mansoori and to recognise his immeasurable contribution to his country. This commemorative edition marks our immense pride and solidifies the UAE’s place in the global front of space exploration.”