Sheikh Mohamed's phone call with UAE astronaut goes viral: What the President told AlNeyadi

May God bless and bring you back safely, President tells Emirati astronaut as he jets off for the historic 6-month mission

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Sahim Salim

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Published: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 9:53 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:33 PM

“We are delighted with you, and we invest in the likes of you.” The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has expressed his pride in Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi ahead of his historic six-month mission to space. AlNeyadi will embark on the first long-term Arab space mission as he jets off to the International Space Station on Monday.

In a phone call with the astronaut, Sheikh Mohamed prayed for the success of the mission. He also had a piece of advice for the 42-year-old: “The important thing is to maintain your daily workout so that your muscles remain strong when you return, God willing.”

AlNeyadi replied how astronauts on the ISS must work out for about two hours daily, and “some astronauts have returned even stronger than before their trip to space.”

Sheikh Mohamed enquired after AlNeyadi’s family, to which he replied they were all with him at the Kennedy Space Centre. “It was a good gathering for all of us and everyone is excited and waiting for the historic moment.”

The astronaut highlighted how the UAE President leads with his kindness and generosity; and how he “paves the way” for all. “You lead us and we follow you. The first mission was already completed by my brother Hazza Al Mansouri, who carried the UAE flag to space. I am just continuing this journey and there are more to come,” said AlNeyadi.

Sheikh Mohamed said the Emirati astronaut has his trust. “Your noble deeds are well-known.

“May God bless you and bring you back safely. Please give my regards to your family. We will see you soon, God willing, and we will be overjoyed to see you,” the UAE President told the astronaut from Al Ain.

AlNeyadi said that the mission would “enrich all of humanity”.

Several Sheikhs, ministers and top officials have conveyed their best wishes to AlNeyadi.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, said he is “proud of Sultan … and everyone who aspires to achieve the best for the UAE”.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, highlighted how the mission is a “new dream come true for the UAE”.

“With Sultan AlNeyadi, our ambitions and the late Sheikh Zayed’s dream to build the future of humanity grows,” Sheikh Maktoum said.

Hazza Al Mansouri, who is serving as the backup astronaut for AlNeyadi on this mission, assured his colleague that he will be supporting him in all the milestones of this mission. “Have a great journey up there!”

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said the UAE eagerly awaits his safe return home. “You have shown that with perseverance and a strong spirit, nothing is impossible!”

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