Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Abdulla Mohammed Alahbabi, the youngest person from an Arab country to have reached the North Pole’s highest peak, at an iftar reception at Al Bateen Palace on Wednesday.
Also present were Sheikh Rashid bin Saud, Crown Prince of Umm Al Qaiwain, sons of the country’s noble martyrs and their families along with a delegation from the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO).
Graduates of the National Defence College and Joint Command and Staff College and a number of retired military personnel were also in attendance.
Sheikh Mohammed talked with Mr Alahbabi who was accompanied by his father, about his polar expedition and commended the tremendous achievement.
“I wanted to do an initiative in the Year of Zayed. And I chose to do this because it was challenging,” Mr Alahbabi said.
His trip started on April 4, when he left the UAE for Oslo, where he took a flight to Longyearbyen, an island off Norway. There, the expedition group of six underwent an intensive training programme to teach them how to set up camp, ski and pull their sleds.
“It was very intense. It’s one of the very toughest expeditions if you compare the North Pole, the South Pole and the seven summits. It is right at the top, under Everest. I knew it would add more value to the claim that nothing is impossible,” said Mr Alahbabi, who is studying political science.
Sheikh Mohammed also affirmed the UAE leadership’s determination to continue to extend all forms of support to the families of the nation’s martyrs in recognition of their noble sacrifices in defence of the homeland’s supreme interests.
During his meeting with the military graduates, Sheikh Mohammed wished them success in their endeavours to maintain the country’s gains and achievements.
In the meantime, Sheikh Mohammed accepted a solar-powered Golf car as a gift from six People of Determination from ZHO who have contributed to assembling and manufacturing the vehicle in collaboration with Al Fahim Group.
Sheikh Mohammed hailed the project, and praised the role played by ZHO and its efforts in engaging People of Determination in society.
UAE Portrait of a Nation: the youngest Arab to reach the North Pole