DUBAI 20 July 2017: The Etihad Museum commemorates one of the most important moments in the UAE’s history – the birth of the nation at the 1971 Union Agreement. The seven Founding Fathers, whose inspiring lives are celebrated at the museum with a dedicated display. By sharing the personal history and belongings of these pioneering men, the Etihad Museum brings the story to life for visitors and gives them a human insight into the events surrounding this historical event.
The Founding Fathers display begins with Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi and ‘Father of the Nation’, and gives visitors a chance to view personal objects including his cane, prayer beads, sunglasses, wrist watch, and a pocket watch. The collection was curated with the help of the Zayed Museum management team as part of the ‘Let’s Preserve Our Legacy’ campaign launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was born in 1918 in the city of Al Ain and passed away on the 2nd November 2004. He became the Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1966, succeeding his brother Sheikh Shakhbout, and was the first President of the United Arab Emirates – earning him the title of ‘Father of the Nation’.
The personal belongings of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan are complemented by the story of his family – one of the most important and influential of political leaderships in the history of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general. Over the past three centuries, the Al Nahyan family has played a major role in political, economic, and social transformations that have taken place in the nation – most importantly the founding of the UAE.
The Etihad Museum inspires visitors with the story of the most significant moment in the UAE’s timeline – the birth of the country at Union House – which would not have been possible without the dedication of the Founding Fathers. By introducing visitors to each of the rulers in a meaningful way, the museum ensures that their legacy is celebrated to enrich our present and shape our bright future.
By Angel Chan