Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tonight congratulated UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi on making history as the first Arab to perform a spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS) during Expedition 69.

In a tweet, Sheikh Mohammed praised Al Neyadi’s achievement, saying: “After three years of intensive training, today marked a historic moment as Sultan Al Neyadi embarked on his first spacewalk. During this mission, he installed new components and performed maintenance on the International Space Station, becoming the first Emirati, Arab, and Muslim astronaut to walk in outer space. This accomplishment is a source of immense pride for the Arab world.”

Al Neyadi’s spacewalk is a significant milestone for the UAE and the Arab world, demonstrating the region’s capabilities in the field of space exploration.

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Years of training

The astronaut’s success comes after three years of rigorous training and highlights the importance of perseverance and dedication.

Sheikh Mohammed also emphasised the potential of the Arab world to make a lasting impact on the global stage.

He noted that two-thirds of the stars in the sky have Arabic names, a testament to the capabilities and creativity of the Arab people. By focusing on science, investing in the youth, and setting aside disputes, the Arab world has the potential to make significant strides and contribute positively to humanity’s progress, Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Hamdan hails the historic feat

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, also hailed this historic milestone.

Taking to his twitter account Dubai Crown Prince wrote: “The UAE's space program has achieved a new historic milestone with @astro_alneyadi becoming the first Arab to perform a spacewalk. We extend our congratulations to the UAE's leadership, its people, and the entire region for this remarkable accomplishment. We take great pride in this achievement and celebrate this momentous occasion. We also wish @astro_alneyadi a safe and successful mission."

The UAE today has become the 10th country to execute a spacewalk on the ISS, with Al Neyadi taking part in the 261st spacewalk in support of space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.

The fourth spacewalk of the year on the ISS will be historic, as Al Neyadi and Nasa Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen collaborate to complete critical duties.