UAE: Initiative to engage Emirati students in aviation to expand in coming years

'Future Scientists' programme ties up with European aerospace giant Airbus to train locals


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 18 Nov 2021, 4:37 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Nov 2021, 5:09 PM

Al Bayt Mitwahid Association aims to expand its Emirati youth development initiative "Future Scientists" so that more and more local students can benefit from the programme.

As part of the "Future Scientists" programme, Al Bayt Mitwahid has tied up with European aerospace giant Airbus to engage bright, talented and ambitious Emirati students in the aviation and aerospace sectors and help them become a professional. The programme equips students with extensive knowledge, industry best practices and exposure to real-life aviation and aerospace challenges to shape their thinking and communication skills.

As part of the initiative launched in 2017, Emirati students visited Airbus' facilities in France and Germany to gain knowledge and to learn from the experience of the aviation professionals at the European company. In addition, Emiratis also visited local facilities such as Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and UAE Space Agency for knowledge.


Abdullah Al Neyadi, a board member of Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, said the body is continuously seeking opportunities for partnership with the big and specialised companies like Airbus to support young Emiratis to work in the private sector and the areas that are really beneficial for the country's future and present.

On Thursday, Around a dozen young Emirati students – "Future Scientists" – graduated from the programme as part of the youth development at a ceremony held on the sidelines of Dubai Airshow 2021, which concluded on November 18.

"We are planning to organise visits to Airbus facilities every year or two and also increase the number of students to 20-25. They will be going to Airbus facilities for training and mentoring. They also visit facilities here in the UAE to gain knowledge in the sector," Al Neyahi told Khaleej Times at the graduation ceremony.

"The UAE has invested a lot in airlines and space industry. We want youth to be part of this to serve the country. We will follow up with the students to make sure that they don't have any issues and facilitate them with regard to their higher studies. We are doing roadshows so whoever is really interested can join us," he added.

Mikail Houari, president of Airbus Africa and the Middle East said: "' Future Scientists' supports the development of a pipeline of future talent, providing students in the UAE with international best practices and a springboard to careers in the aviation and aerospace industries. As part of our commitment to promoting the localisation of skills and knowledge, the programme has helped nurture bright young minds who will become future leaders of our industry."

He said: "We are proud to witness the graduation of the young scientists who will go on to generate innovative ideas that contribute to the sustainable economic development and diversification of the UAE."

Mohammed Saeed Hameed Al Ameri, an aerospace student of Khalifa University who graduated on Thursday, said he learnt a lot about the aerospace industry, especially during their visit to the Airbus facility in 2017.

"We visited many Airbus assembly lines like A380, A320 etc. In 2019, we visited local companies here in the UAE like MBRSC, UAE Space Agency, Strata and Etihad Engineering. I am planning to have an internship with Airbus in the defence sector next year. During my visit to Airbus' defence facility, I really enjoyed that trip. So I am looking forward to an internship with Airbus next year," he added.

Hamda Al Hajeri, a chemical engineering student at the UAE University, Al Ain, visited the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany in 2018 as part of a trip organised by Al Bayt Mitwahid Association's initiative.

"During our visit, we met many decision-makers there. So it was a great opportunity to take some of their experiences. Later, we lo visited MBRSC, UAE Space Agency and also saw the 'Hope Probe" process," she added.


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