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For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: The first 10-year residency visas have been granted to 20 scientists, including the winners of the first and second edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence as well as the 18 scientists who were shortlisted for the medal.

The move follows the Cabinet resolution, which was issued last year, to grant long-term residency visas to specialists and experts in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, as well as scientists and creative talents in culture and arts.

The names of scientists were announced during the second annual meeting of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Academy of Scientists, in the presence of more than 150 scientists from across the world, a move that emphasises the UAE’s status as a major hub attracting the best global talented scientists and innovators.

Sara Yousuf Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, said: “Granting the 10-year residency visas reflects the vision of our wise leadership that aims to cement the UAE’s stature as a haven for brilliant minds and creative talents and emphasise the UAE’s leading role in recognising and honouring scientists and providing innovative solutions that serve humanity.”

She added: “We look forward to continue working for transforming the UAE into a global scientific centre, providing a stimulating environment for scientists to achieve a quantum jump in various scientific fields. This aligns with our strategy to establish an integrated scientific society able to meet all the needs of future development.”

Sara underlined the importance of the move in serving the key goals of the UAE’s agenda for advanced sciences that aims to harness scientific research to achieve a unique leap in many vital sectors that ensure the UAE maintaining its place in the global competitiveness indicators.

The awarding of residency visas marks that the Cabinet decision has been put into force. The decision also includes provisions for granting a 10-year visa for specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge for doctors, specialists and inventors. As well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa’s advantages include the spouse and children.

The list of scientists, who have been granted the 10-year residency visas include:

1. Dr. Lihadh Al Gazali, Senior Consultant at the Clinical Genetics and Paediatrics at the UAE University who won the second edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

2. Dr Hassan Arafat, a professor at Khalifa University, who won the medal in its first edition in recognition of his contributions to scientific research and development of technology for water desalination and treatment based on renewable energy.

3. Dr. Omar Yaghi, Founding Director — Berkeley Global Science Institute, who received Lifetime Achievements Award for his scientific works.

4. Dr. Andrea Macchio. Associate Professor at the Physics Department and Head of the Physics Programme, New York University-Abu Dhabi.

5. Dr. Fikri Abu Zeedan, Professor and head the Incidents Research Group at the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.

6. Dr. Enas Al Nashef, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University.

7. Professor Linda Zou, Khalifa University

8. Dr. Afaf Kamal Al Deen, Professor at the Department of Food Science, UAE University

9. Dr. Ala’a Al Dahhan, Professor at the Department of Geology in the UAE University

10. Dr. Lourdes F. Vega, Honorary Professor at the Gas Research Centre, Khalifa University.

11. Dr Lakmal Seneviratne, director of Khalifa University Centre for Autonomous Robotic Systems at Khalifa University.

12. Professor Wesley Cantwell, Director of Aviation Innovation Research Centre (ARIC) and Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Khalifa University.

13. Dr. Ernesto Damiani, Founding Director of Khalifa University Centre of Physical Cyber Systems.

14. Dr. Galeb Al Hussaini, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of Chemical Engineering at Dana Gas.

15. Dr. Abdul Rahim Nimar, Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.

16. Dr. Omar Amin, Professor of Biology at UAE University

17. Dr. Ehab Al Saadani, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Khalifa University.

18. Dr. Abdo Adam, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.

19. Dr Ernest Adghati, Professor at the Department of Anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at UAE University.

20. Dr. Hatem Zeineldin, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Khalifa University