The Higher Organizing Committee of Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 has announced that an overwhelming attendance was recorded on the third day, with visitors exceeding 15,000. This follows a highly successful Grand Opening ceremony that brought together over 20,000 UAE citizens, residents and tourists representing all walks of society.
HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, officially opened the festival last Thursday. The cultural extravaganza will run until 12 December 2014, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President – may God bless him. It is held under the support of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Delegates from Belarus, Georgia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia toured various attractions such as the ‘Memories of a Nation’ wing, which displays the UAE’s cultural inheritance in minute detail. Delegates also visited the ‘Zayed and Horses’ gallery, which portrays legendary horses of the Al Nahyan stables – foremost of which was Rabdan, Sheikh Zayed’s first horse, which was the subject of many stories and poems of admiration.
HE Humaid Al Neyadi, Vice Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 and General Manager of the Private Office of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, attributed the massive attendance to the phenomenal diversity of attractions, reiterating that this year’s edition is outstanding in every respect.
HE Al Neyadi explained: “The diversity in this year’s festival has been the major factor attracting visitors. For instance, the ‘Memories of a Nation’ wing is displaying many historical milestones and facts for the very first time to the general public. It consists of nine sections displaying some of the rarest pictures of the UAE’s late founder, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – may God rest his soul. This is in addition to many other exhibitions portraying his great accomplishments in various fields, at various stages of the UAE’s foundation.”
He pointed out that the Grand Opening ceremony was enormously successful and this glorified the name of the founding leader, Sheikh Zayed – may God have mercy on him. The ceremony attracted about 15,000 visitors who joined 5,000 performers in scenes recreating the nation’s past. More than 500 authentic Arabian horses from world-famous dynasties, in addition to over 200 camels, participated in the Grand Opening. Hussain Al Jasmi performed a special operetta of poems honouring the founding father Sheikh Zayed – may God rest his soul.
HE Al Neyadi anticipates that this year’s edition will achieve record attendance, due to the innovative way Emirati heritage is showcased in live interactive museums. The festival uses futuristic technologies to immerse the audience in the past, delivering a sincere message from our forefathers and painting an accurate picture of our origins.
The ‘Memories of a Nation’ wing features nine specialized exhibitions displaying very rare pictures of Sheikh Zayed – may God have mercy on him – in addition to other exhibitions showing historical milestones in numerous fields. It also has an Oral History exhibition with live shows from those who lived through the past and witnessed first hand the UAE’s birth and its journey of prosperity.
Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival will run for 22 days, conveying every detail of early Emirati lifestyles over the centuries. It offers current and future generations a plethora of historical artifacts that will be displayed for the very first time, to sow the seeds of our heritage in the hearts of the young generation and spread it internationally to blossom around the world.