Mohammed bin Rashid: Scientists are Partners with the Government … Fostering them is Key to Create a Brighter Future for Our Nation

The government of the United Arab Emirates granted Permanent Golden Residency to a group of scientists and researchers as part of the implementation of the Cabinet’s Resolution regarding long-term residency. This gesture reaffirms that UAE is renowned for being an incubator for talents and creative minds.

The decision was made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, while he was receiving scientists and their families at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi.

The meeting was attended by Lt. General His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, in addition to a number of their Excellencies Ministers. During the meeting, His Highness welcomed the scientists and thanked them for their dedicated efforts in the service of science and the scientific community and the knowledge which they put at the service of the humanity.

His Highness hailed their contribution to science and knowledge within or outside the UAE. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid emphasized that “the UAE has been and will continue to be a destination for many who seek to achieve successes and turn dreams into reality … the UAE attracts minds, intellectuals and scientists to be part of its success story and excellence … they are partners in the development process and a key player in enriching the knowledge of the mankind”.

His Highness said “the United Arab Emirates is a land of opportunities … there is much to be achieved for our future generations … we want scientists, researchers and every specialist each in their field to be given the opportunity to build the future … and develop solutions for development needs in the future”. His Highness added “Scientists are partners of the government …

We count on them to build a science and knowledge base and promote our national research capabilities. Fostering them is a key tool to create a brighter future for our nation”. To date, more than 2,500 Permanent Golden Residency have been awarded to exceptional talents across the UAE to enjoy unprecedented benefits.

The Permanent Golden Residency is open for qualifying investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents, researchers in the fields of science and knowledge, and outstanding students to attract talents in all vital sectors of the national economy.

The grant of the Permanent Golden Residency to a number of scientists echoes the UAE government’s keenness to encourage scientists and researchers to enhance research and sciences in order to bring about qualitative changes in many dynamic sectors that allow the UAE to maintain its position in the global competitiveness index. It also constitutes the cornerstone necessary to strengthen its position on the world stage as a preferred destination for science, scientists and researchers.

The Permanent Golden Residency granted to talents is of unique importance as it focuses on the role of scientists in enriching the civilization and humanities in various specialties and from different countries. The list of scientists who have obtained the Permanent Golden Residency include: Dr Lihadh Al Gazali, Senior Consultant at the Clinical Genetics and Pediatrics at the UAE University, winner of the second edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

Al Gazali is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom; a Member of the Executive Council of the Arab Centre for Genomic Studies and several other global organizations. She is one of the first scientists in the world to successfully identify recessive genes that cause more than 40 common genetic disorders among Arab populations.

She was also the first female physician to describe phenotypic patterns of genetic disorders in the United Arab Emirates. Dr Hassan Arafat, Professor at Khalifa University, winner of the first edition of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

Arafat was awarded this medal in recognition of his contributions to scientific research and development of technology for water desalination and treatment based on renewable energy, in collaboration with researchers from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. He has a Jordanian nationality and is an Associate Professor at Khalifa University.

Prof Andrea Macchio, Associate Professor at the Physics Department and Head of the Physics Programme, New York University-Abu Dhabi, NYUAD. Macchio’s work focuses on delving into the nature and origins of the dark components of the universe, especially dark energy and dark matter.

He is also engaged in astrophysics, with particular interest in numerical simulation. Prof Fikri Abu Zidan, Professor and Head the Incidents Research Group at the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, since 2007.

Zidan has contributed to numerous research projects, and published in more than 330 international journals, books and scientific journals. He has been involved in scientific research for over 33 years in various countries including Kuwait, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. He has given more than 550 lectures and chaired more than 60 local and international conferences.

He currently serves as president of the Human Medical Research Ethics Committee at the UAE University. Zidan has contributed to the development of an internationally recognized curriculum on Focused Assessment Sonography for Trauma, FAST, in the UAE in 2004, and has trained nearly 500 physicians in this field.

Dr Enas Al Nashef, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Khalifa University. Al Nashef’s main research focuses on chemical engineering and chemical analysis. He received 8 patents from the US and EU Patent Offices. He was also awarded several prestigious awards, including King Abdullah Award for Best Invention in 2013. Prof Linda Zou, Khalifa University, Professor at Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

Zou's research interests include applying nanotechnology and membrane science to the development of low energy and high efficiency novel desalination and water purification solutions. She currently heads a groundbreaking research project on nanotechnology for the development of rainfed materials, which was approved by the Emirates Rainfall Research Program between 2016 and 2018.

She has 6 patents and has published more than 150 journal articles and conference presentations. Prof Afaf Kamal Eldin, Professor at the Department of Food Science, UAE University. Eldin is specialized in the field of food composition and analysis, and "Nutrition for Health".

She has published more than 150 review articles in international journals on topics related to food and health, focused on antioxidants and their mechanisms of action, as well as biologically active compounds in foods. Dr Ala’a Al Dahhan, Professor at the Department of Geology at the UAE University. Al Dahhan has made numerous scientific contributions in the fields of geochemistry, environmental oil sciences, radioisotopes, and has published more than 400 scientific researches in international journals and conferences. He co-designed and participated in many international scientific missions such as the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Antarctica, Siberia and the Baltic Sea.

Prof Lourdes F Vega, Honorary Professor at the Gas Research Centre, Khalifa University and author of the book CO2 Capture and Utilization. Vega has published more than 200 scientific papers and has 5 industrial patents. She managed to raise more than USD 50 million in research scholarships and serves as an editorial board member in 5 scientific journals and 5 international conference committees.

Prof Lakmal Seneviratne, Director of the Khalifa University Robotics Institute, KURI, and Associate Provost of Research & Graduate Studies. Seneviratne research interests include robotics and automation, with special emphasis on the use of engineering mechanics-based algorithms to enhance the autonomy of complex systems.

He has published more than 350 scientifically revised papers on these topics. Prof Wesley Cantwell, Director of Aviation Innovation Research Centre, ARIC, and Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Khalifa University. His research interests include aircraft structures, composites, light aircraft structures, environmentally friendly components, polymers and fracture mechanics that examine cracks in materials. Cantwell has three patents and has published more than 220 scientific articles.

Prof Ernesto Damiani, Founding Director of the Center on Cyber-Physical Systems at Khalifa University. Damiani’s research spans Cyber-security, Big Data and cloud/edge processing, where he has published over 600 peer-reviewed articles and books.

He received an honorary doctorate from the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon, France (2017) for his contributions to research and teaching on Big Data analytics. Prof Galeb Al Hussaini, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of Chemical Engineering at Dana Gas. Husseini’s areas of interests include non-viral gene delivery, ultrasonic bone-healing and surface modification.

He won the Technology Innovation Pioneer, TIP, Healthcare Award in 2018 and received second place in the ICHEME International Award for the Institute of Chemical Engineers' Best Project in 2016, for his project titled Nanoparticles and Ultrasound in Cancer Treatment. He also won several awards from the American University of Sharjah, Petrofac, Al Jalila Foundation, Takamol, and Emirates Foundation.

Prof Abdul Rahim Nimar, Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University. His main areas of expertise include the underlying physiological pathological mechanisms behind the effects of air pollution on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

He received research awards from CMHS, the UAE University and several international communities, including the American Thoracic Society, ATS, the European Respiratory Society, ERS, the Belgian Thoracic Society, the British Association for Lung Research and the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy, ESCP. Prof Omar Amin, Professor of Biology at UAE University. His main interests include the biological application of nanotechnology, cancer biology, cell biology and biological applications of MRI.

He studies the roles of natural products in the treatment and prevention of cancer. He has also received several national and international awards. Prof Ehab Al Saadani, Professor at the Khalifa University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has received numerous national and international awards for his contributions in the field of energy Systems, including the Ontario Innovation Research Award. He has more than 405 published scientific articles and five patents. Prof Abdo Adam, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University.

His research interests include research into the Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, clinical pharmacy and diabetes. Prof. Abdo has more than 200 research articles and three patents. Prof Ernest Adghati, Professor at the Department of Anatomy at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, CMHS, at UAE University and former Head of the Research Group on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases.

Adghati’s work particularly focuses on diabetes research. He has published more than 150 articles in this field. Dr Hatem Zeineldin, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Khalifa University. Zeineldin has led the Energy Group at Masdar Institute and the Electrical and Computer Engineering, ECE, Department. His research interests include renewable energy, smart grids, energy systems and renewable energy integration and its impact on the operation of the energy systems.