Young Emirati Student Has High Hopes for Research in the UAE
Young Emiratis are increasingly representing their country in several different fields
that aim to shape and shift the economy away from oil and towards knowledge.
And Omair Yousef Al Marzooqi is one of them. The physics student at the College of
Science at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) won first place in the three-day
Emirates Skills Competition, receiving a gold medal in CNC milling, which stands for
computer-numerical control milling, in June this year.
This year’s competition, which featured a different task for students to undertake
each day, took place across ADNEC – Abu Dhabi and included 17 categories, such as
CNC milling, welding, industrial control, and electrical installation. CNC milling
machines produce precise and complex parts to supply industry needs, such as automobiles,
airplanes, and smartphones, among others.
Within Al Marzooqi’s category, students were given different drawings of complex parts
to create a computer 3D model based on a sketch they were provided with. By selecting
different tools, the students were able to select how each one of them would move
within the created machine, before changing the functions to coding through a specialised
Once complete, the end result was presented to a jury as a 3D model.
For Al Marzooqi, his interest in the field stemmed from his time spent in high school,
studying at the Applied Technology High School in Abu Dhabi. From grade 9 to 12, he
studied mechanical engineering before taking a course in CNC turning, which involves
cylinders. “I took the course, and I registered for the Emirates Skills Competition
in 2018 when I won fourth place,” he says. “Then I tried to register in 2019, but
I could not, so I registered to the UAEU in 2018, and I started in January 2020 because
I was in the national service.”
After entering as a mechanical engineering student in 2020 at the UAEU, he shifted
to physics on the first day of university. He explains that many students who had
graduated in engineering could not find a job easily. His worry changed his course
to a new topic, in line with the UAE’s focus on space, the Mars mission, and Khalifa
Sat. “So I said I should go with the UAE’s goals because it truly is the future,”
This semester, he kicked off his physics degree with a concentration on space science.
Outside of his university studies, Al Marzooqi spends his free time diving into his
interest in 3D printing, CNC milling, and many others.
With a proper workshop set up at his home, he chose to take his passion outside of
the classroom to develop several different topics he is fond of.
Throughout his time at the university, he described the faculty members as extremely
helpful. “Some professors only want to teach, but others take extra care of helping me in the
English language,” he notes. “They went the extra mile for me – when I would finish
from class, some of them would help me in English in general, and I am very grateful
Such help has proven vital for Al Marzooqi’s personal and professional development,
as he believes holding both the Arabic and English languages will help him in his
future endeavors. Top-notch facilities and infrastructure on the UAEU’s campus have
also assisted him in being able to focus while studying and having all the equipment
needed on hand.
When the announcement was made that he had won first place in the Emirates Skills
Competition, he described a feeling of bliss and happiness, driving his motivation
even further for the future. As a result, he is currently training to take part in
the WorldSkills Competition, taking place in Shanghai in October next year, within
the same topic and representing the UAE. “I have been training for more than one year,
and I will continue to train until I go to Shanghai in October 2022,” he says.
In the future, Al Marzooqi hopes to work in engineering and research, to combine both
practices in one as he describes the vital relationship they both hold together. His
studies in physics and mechanical engineering since high school and his father’s experience
as an electrical engineer have laid the right foundations for him to pursue work in
the field in the future.
For Al Marzooqi, research is crucial in all aspects of society, namely in the UAE,
where he believes not enough people work in the field. “It interests me to become
one of the UAE’s pioneers in research and to succeed in it,” he concludes. “Our country’s
oil will finish one day, so the UAE should shift towards a knowledge-based economy.
There are other areas, like science and research, that can strongly help the development
of the UAE, so I hope to be one of these people who can work in this and develop it