Dubai: The Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) on Friday announced the launch of the second children’s book authored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, titled ‘The Journey From the Desert to the Stars’.
In an unprecedented event, the launch took place aboard the International Space Station (ISS), a fitting stage that echoes a recurrent theme in the book − the UAE’s journey from modest beginnings to stellar heights. Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi marked the occasion by reading select passages from the book.
The five stories in the book form a poignant memoir of key moments in the UAE’s remarkable development journey. The stories show how the nation's accomplishments mirror His Highness's conviction that perseverance is the key to success. Within the pages of the book, the Dubai Ruler also offers young readers a treasure trove of wisdom - the invaluable lessons gained from diverse experiences from his childhood and youth that shaped his values and outlook on life.
Sheikh Mohammed begins the book with the words, “The beginning of any transformative endeavour is unforgettable; it lingers in your mind and leaves a lasting impression.” The evocative opening encapsulates His Highness's enduring commitment to change and progress.
In a video shared on social media, astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi provided a brief overview of one of the five stories featured in the book, ‘My First Teacher’.
"Today, I'm thrilled to share with you, from space, the launch of the second children's book by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. It features inspiring tales from His Highness's life, presented in an engaging manner, brimming with hope and ambition, and aimed at children in the UAE and worldwide. In one of the stories, His Highness discusses the UAE's space journey that commenced during the time of the late Sheikh Zayed. I am honoured to contribute to the realisation of this vision."
Mona Al Marri, Director General of GDMO, said the book weaves together significant moments from HH Sheikh Mohammed's life with landmark events in the history of the UAE. ‘The Journey From the Desert to the Stars’ provides young readers with a deep understanding of His Highness’s values such as loyalty, belonging and service to the nation. It also illustrates how a vision can be transformed into national success and inspire generations of citizens to strive for excellence, she further noted.
Al Marri further said the book reflects Sheikh Mohammed's deep commitment to cultivating a love of reading among the younger generation. His passion for promoting the reading habit is exemplified by a host of initiatives, most notably the ‘Arab Reading Challenge’, an event that features the participation of millions of avid young readers from the region and around the world, she said.
Al Marri noted that the book's unveiling aboard the ISS is a tribute to the realisation of the vision for space exploration laid down by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
The Director General of GDMO thanked the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi for facilitating the launch of the book from the ISS. She said MBRSC has played a vital role in making the UAE's space ambitions a reality and commended the contributions of Emiratis to the global space sector.
Sultan Al Neyadi further said the book reflects Sheikh Mohammed's dedication to creating a brighter future and nurturing the values of patriotism and loyalty among the youth. The launch event coincides with the conclusion of Al Neyadi's groundbreaking six-month mission to the ISS.
GDMO partnered with local Emirati talent to produce the book. The book was published by the local publishing house Al Hudhud, a member of ‘Proudly from Dubai’, a network of promising Dubai-born businesses created by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office. The book also features illustrations by Emirati artists Ali Kashwani and Ahmed Al Mansouri.
The five captivating stories in ‘The Journey From the Desert to the Stars’ include ‘The Northern Tent’, which narrates the circumstances surrounding the UAE's foundation in 1971. ‘My First Journey’ recounts Sheikh Mohammed's very first visit to London with his father, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, and how this experience inspired his involvement in the establishment of international airports and Emirates Airline. In ‘The Secrets of the Sea’, His Highness speaks about his deep connection with the sea, which inspired the launch of Dubai’s ports and DP World.
Other stories include ‘First Place’, in which the Dubai Ruler speaks about Burj Khalifa and the passion instilled in him by his father to be the best. ‘My First Teacher’ reflects on his profound connection with the sky and stars. His contemplation on whether Emiratis would ever venture into space became a reality with the successful launch of the UAE’s ambitious space missions, including the groundbreaking Hope Probe.