Military cadets at the last day of the Mohammad Bin Zayed Majlis in Adnec. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s Mars probe (Emirates Mars Mission)— the Arab world’s first mission headed by Emiratis by 2021 — will prove the UAE is capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity, making the nation one of the world’s nine countries with mission to the Red Planet, a minister said yesterday.

“The UAE Mars probe’s purpose is to build Emirati technical capabilities in aerospace and space exploration, and to enter the space industry, making use of space technology in a way that enhances the country’s development plans,” Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, told the audience at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations.

Al Falasi added the government’s strategies set challenging, yet attainable, goals through the integration of a clear vision, approach and mindset. “In less than a decade, we have demonstrated to the world our capabilities in turning a vision into a reality,” he said.

He gave the example of Al Ain-based Strata Manufacturing, the advanced composite aero-structures manufacturer focused on this kind of approach.

“Successful partnerships build upon themselves and increase the trust and reputation of the UAE’s industry and its top-to-bottom approach to education, training and research, so local human capital is able to meet the needs of the burgeoning aerospace industry,” he said.

Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Al Falasi also spoke of KhalifaSat — one the most technologically-advanced remote sensing Earth Observation Satellites that is fully manufactured by UAE engineers, which will be launched from Japan within two weeks.

He also highlighted the UAE’s ambitious plans to build wind power farms as well as military-grade vehicles and anti-terror aircraft, made in the UAE.

Al Falasi spoke about the significance of advanced skills considering the forthcoming rapid changes in the labour market due to the advanced technological trends in automation using artificial intelligence, robotics and big data analytics.

Al Falasi said that while the automation of jobs and other labour market changes constitute a global challenge, they represent a unique opportunity for the UAE because of the forward-looking approach that has always enabled the country to lead in various sectors.

The minister spoke about several examples in this regard, in particular; the evolution of an advanced skills portfolio in parallel with higher education, in addition to the UAE’s focus on artificial intelligence and advanced sciences, which considers the future of scientific research across different sectors.

The minister advised young men and women to continue lifelong learning of professional skills needed to keep up with labour market requirements.”

Al Falasi said all licensed colleges and universities will soon be issued a quality assurance report by the ministry detailing the institution’s strengths and weaknesses, which will be available to the public.

“This will be useful in many ways, for example, in informing the parents and students about the levels of this institution so that they can make an informed decision on where to go,” he said.

Nasser Bin Thani Al Hameli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, told young men and women at the majlis to take the lead in the private sector which creates 90 per cent of jobs and contributes more than 80 per cent of the GDP or gross domestic product.

“We have created more than 5,000 jobs for citizens in the private sector between February and May and we are planning to create 3,500 more jobs,” the minister said.

The Mohammad Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations offers Emirati students a chance to plan for their future as experts from the UAE and around the world offer insight on leadership, technology and sustainability among other disciplines of knowledge.