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#IAmEmirati: Meet the UAE’s first nuclear inspector

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To be an Emirati is to dream for the UAE. From a barren desert, the Emirates soared: Skyscrapers rose, world records were smashed, space dreams blasted off – the impossible became possible. And the secret? The vision, the grit and the heart of an Emirati. With this weekly #IAmEmirati series, we celebrate the pioneers, the thought leaders, and the brilliant people who carry the nation’s legacy into the future. Here, you’ll meet the dreamers and achievers of the UAE.

As the first Emirati to qualify as a nuclear inspector, Harbi had seen his country’s nuclear ambitions grow and come to fruition from close quarters.

“It brought back a flood of memories of my visits to different nuclear power plants around the world. I had always wondered and dreamt of the day when the UAE would build our own nuclear plant,” Al Harbi, 36, told Khaleej Times.

After earning a degree in chemical engineering, Al Harbi’s natural choice was to turn to the oil and gas industry like many of his fellow graduates. “But I wanted to do something different. That was when I saw a newspaper ad titled, ‘Do you want to be the next Nuclear Energy Pioneer? Apply now!'”

That was a turning point for the young engineer, who was raring to do more for his country. “Back in 2009, nobody in the UAE ever thought that, one day, we will be a peaceful nuclear nation. I felt this was my chance to write history.”