|Other names||Sultan Saif Muftah Hamad AlNeyadi|
|Alma mater||Griffith University |
University of Brighton
|UAE Astronaut (2018)|
|Selection||MBRSC Selection 1|
Sultan AlNeyadi was born in Um Ghafa, a remote area outside Al Ain. He lived his childhood in his grandfather's house. He went to Um Ghafa Primary Boys School and Um Ghafa Secondary School. His father was a General in the UAE Armed Forces and Sultan seemed destined to follow in his father's footsteps in service of his country, from a very young age.
After high school, Sultan joined the UAE Armed Forces. He studied in Britain at the University of Brighton, where he received a BSc (Hons) in Electronics and Communications Engineering in 2004. After being selected to become one of the first two Emirati astronauts, university vice-chancellor Debra Humphris said, “We are so proud of our graduate and will be watching his endeavours as an astronaut with great interest.”
In 2008, he went to Australia and received a master's degree in Information and Networks Security from Griffith University, where he returned in 2011 to complete a PhD in Data Leakage Prevention Technology.
AlNeyadi was one of two people selected from 4,022 candidates to become the first Emirati astronauts, following a series of mental and physical tests in the UAE and Russia. He went through the UAE Astronaut Programme at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.
On 3 September 2018, UAE Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted: “We announced today our first astronauts to the International Space Station: Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Nayadi. Hazza and Sultan represent all young Arabs and represent the pinnacle of the UAE's ambitions.”
It was later announced that Al Mansouri would fly the first mission, with AlNeyadi as his back up, meaning Al Mansouri did his preparations to become the first person from the UAE to fly in space and AlNeyadi did his preparations to step in and fly the mission if anything were to happen to Al Mansouri that would compromise him flying the mission. Al Mansouri launched on Soyuz MS-15 on 25 September 2019 for an approximately eight-day mission on the ISS before returning to Earth on 3 October 2019.
The MBRSC and Roscosmos have been in negotiations to support a six-month ISS mission for a crew member from the UAE; Al Neyadi would be the logical choice for the mission.