Sultan Al Neyadi
Al Neyadi was treated to a hero's welcome upon landing in Abu Dhabi on Monday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The historic homecoming of the ‘Sultan of Space’, UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, has inspired Emiratis to excel in their fields to serve the nation.

Al Neyadi is the first Arab to perform a spacewalk and is returning home after the longest Arab space mission spanning six months onboard the International Space Station.

UAE citizens said they closely followed Al Neyadi’s mission, which has filled them with pride and inspiration.

Eman Al Suwaidi

Eman Al Suwaidi, Leadership Coach, Trainer and Founder of AlNoor LifeStyle Coaching, said: “The UAE has been put on the international map of the space world. Al Neyadi has achieved what no other Arab astronaut has been able to accomplish with his spacewalk. I and my family were watching every step of his journey in space. We loved that he carried the UAE flag and spoke Arabic in space. It was a very proud moment indeed for us. I wish him more success.”

Eager to learn

Ali Saleh Al Shunnar

Ali Saleh Al Shunnar, 25, said: “Sultan Al Neyadi’s interactions on social media with his science experiments has created a huge interest in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths] subjects among students. They are inspired and motivated to learn more thanks to Al Neyadi’s stint in space. They now have a professional role model in the space world. That gives us all great confidence in our future generation.”

He added that Al Neyadi’s journey has gone a full circle, connecting the youth with their heritage and their past, as Arabs were pioneers in the science of space. “Most constellations are currently named after their Arabic names. Al Neyadi has added a feather to our cap.”

Giant leap forward

Taybah Awadh Alameri, 25, who works at Inception, said: “As I reflect upon Sultan Al Neyadi’s historic achievement in the UAE’s space programme, I am overcome with an immense sense of pride and inspiration. His remarkable journey into space serves as a wellspring of motivation not only for myself but for countless individuals from our nation. His mission captured the attention and hearts of the UAE and the broader Arab world, marking a significant milestone in our country’s space exploration journey. It has been a moment of collective pride, reinforcing our position on the global stage.”

She added: “Sultan Al Neyadi’s six-month odyssey of adventure and research in space perfectly aligns with the UAE’s larger objectives of advancing scientific knowledge, diversifying our economy, and fostering a knowledge-based society. It’s a testament to our nation’s commitment to pushing boundaries and reaching for the stars.”

Confidence boost

Alia Busaibe

Alia Busaibe, 12, studying in Brighton College Abu Dhabi, said she has been following the inspiring journey of Al Neyadi over the last six months.

“I was captivated by his space walk, and his life aboard the ISS. Now I really want to become an astronaut and do a space walk just like him. It feels great that a fellow Emirati has been brave and travelled so far into space. It makes me confident of myself to achieve huge success in the field of space,” she said.