Marhaba Sultan of Space: The United Arab Emirates salutes its space hero, astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, on his return home

Abu Dhabi: UAE leaders have hailed the return of Sultan Al Neyadi as a moment of national pride for the UAE. The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai spoke with Sultan Al Neyadi – accompanied by his father and three of his children – and discussed aspects of the mission and their experience during their stay in space. They congratulated him for completing the longest space flight ever by an Arab astronaut and becoming the first Arab to perform a spacewalk.

To mark the return home, a grand reception ceremony was held at the new terminal at Abu Dhabi Airport, to celebrate Sultan Al Neyadi’s achievements and his return to the UAE. The ceremony was attended by schoolchildren dressed in astronaut flight suits, government employees and members of the public. Sultan was welcomed with a performance of the traditional Al Ayyala dance and the audience waved UAE flags and applauded, demonstrating the deep pride and celebration felt by the people of the nation.

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