'True inspiration': Young Emiratis react after AlNeyadi appointed Minister of Youth

As the UAE aims to lead the field of STEM, Sultan is a symbol of the country's future

by

Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

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Published: Sun 7 Jan 2024, 2:23 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Jan 2024, 10:44 PM

After a long wait and thousands of applications, Sultan AlNeyadi has been selected as the new Minister of State for Youth. The astronaut and engineer is the new face for youth, representing their aspirations, opinions, and future.

AlNeyadi is well-known for his contributions to space exploration. During his six months in space, he conducted 200 experiments and made history as the first Arab spacewalker and the first Arab to spend 186 days in space. As the UAE aims to lead the field of STEM, Sultan is a symbol of the country's future.

Youth comprise 40 per cent of the UAE’s population, approximately 15 per cent of them aged 0-14.

Aldhabi Almeheiri, Guinness World Record holder for youngest publisher in the world, shared her thoughts on the new minister's appointment, saying, “The appointment of Sultan AlNeyadi [to the role] is an exciting endeavour. It goes to show that our wise government truly recognises the importance of youth empowerment."

Aldhabi Almeheiri
Aldhabi Almeheiri

"I look forward to seeing how the new minister will champion our interests and create a more inclusive future for us.” The 9-year-old is the founder of Rainbow Chimney, a company that sells books, audiobooks, and educational aids.

Omar AlHashemi expressed his joy and pride at Sultan's appointment, saying, "As a young Emirati, I am overjoyed and proud of Sultan's appointment. He is highly competent with remarkable achievements in the field of science and space, and he also understands our concerns and needs. We are proud to have a true Emirati inspiration in that position.”

Omar AlHashemi
Omar AlHashemi

Sultan's predecessor, Shammah AlMazrui, the youngest minister in the world, was able to build the youth file in the UAE, building incredible momentum that featured youth predominantly in every field - from science and technology to diplomacy and environment. The new minister will have to build upon the current momentum and exceed expectations.

UAE Youth Delegate to the UN, Eman Alseyabi, said: “The appointment of Sultan AlNeyadi is promising. His background in science and space and his dedication to community engagement and youth empowerment suggest potential for innovative initiatives. His unique expertise may lead to programs fostering youth interest in STEM fields, contributing to inspire a new era of scientific curiosity and exploration among the youth.”

Eman Alseyabi
Eman Alseyabi

Emirati High school student Abdulla AlMarzooqi said, “I expected a younger minister. But Sultan AlNeyadi has the experience and is the perfect representation of Emirati youth and the future of the UAE; I’m glad they chose him.”

Abdulla AlMarzooqi
Abdulla AlMarzooqi

Sultan AlNeyadi, 42, was born in Al Ain. He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at the University of Brighton in the UK and then pursued his master's and PhD in IT at Griffith University in Australia. His extensive science and tech experience will bring new horizons to youth empowerment in the UAE.

The UAE maintains its commitment and dedication towards youth empowerment. And there is no doubt, with AlNeyadi's technical and scientific background, the UAE will hold its place and possibly develop new momentum in other fields with youth.

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