Composite image from screengrabs of video messages by Saif Al Neyadi (left) and Sultan Al Neyadi (right), posted on the X account of Dubai's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre Image Credit: X/@MBRSpaceCentre

Dubai: The father of UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who has completed the longest Arab space mission, today shared a video message for his son, wishing him a safe return and congratulating him on the achievement.

In the clip, Saif Al Neyadi praised Sultan’s mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) - and the first Arab spacewalk by him - as a historic milestone for the country and region.

The video was posted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) on its account on X (formerly Twitter).

“I bring you greetings from your family and all Emirati people. All Emiratis are proud of you and wish you success in your mission as the first Arab astronaut to conduct a long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station, including a spacewalk,” Saif says.

“This is a milestone in the history of the Arabs and the UAE, and for you as well.

“We are all excited and eagerly awaiting your safe return, raising the flag of the UAE and make our President – our leader, teacher and source of inspiration – His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, along with the Rulers of the Emirates, Emiratis and Arabs alike proud.”

He concludes his message by adding: "We wish you success. We are excited to welcome you after your safe return and celebrate your achievements.”

Sultan's return

The ‘Sultan of Space’ is scheduled to return to Earth on Monday, September 4, MBRSC has announced. According to American space agency NASA, Sultan and other members of Crew-6 will splashdown off the coast of Florida, USA, no earlier than 8.05am UAE time (12.07am EDT), pending weather evaluations.

On Sunday, September 3, the crew is slated to leave the ISS after undocking in the SpaceX Dragon capsule that will bring them to Earth.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.