Permanent national tribute commemorating the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan will welcome the public from April 22
The Founder’s Memorial, a permanent national tribute commemorating the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is set to welcome the public from Sunday April 22.
Established to celebrate Sheikh Zayed’s leadership and influence on the UAE and the wider world, the Memorial invites visitors to embark on a journey of discovery into the life and legacy of the UAE’s founding father.
Through an innovative use of art, landscape, words, stories and multimedia experiences, the Memorial presents a range of personal encounters with Sheikh Zayed as a man and a leader, enabling visitors to gain a deeper understanding of his values.
Situated on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the site encompasses 3.3 hectares of landscaped public space. The memorial is free to access and will be open daily from 9am to 10pm.
The centrepiece of the space is The Constellation, an artwork designed by public artist Ralph Helmick which offers a three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed.
Yousef Al Obaidli, general manager of The Founder’s Memorial, said in comments published by state news agency WAM: "Great nations value their leaders, and this is what we have done by establishing The Founder’s Memorial.
"More than just a monument, the space provides a focal point where the community, and in particular young people who did not have the opportunity to know him, can gather to learn, reflect on and celebrate Sheikh Zayed’s vision and tremendous contribution to the world."
The visitor experience will begin at the memorial’s Welcome Centre which features a multimedia experience highlighting Sheikh Zayed’s life, legacy and values through rare film footage, together with personal stories from people that knew him.
Complimentary tours from trained guides are available in both Arabic and English.
In keeping with Sheikh Zayed’s love of nature, the landscape of The Founder’s Memorial features plants and shrubbery indigenous to the UAE and the Arabian Peninsula.
The public plaza that surrounds the artwork, known as the Sanctuary Garden, serves as a dedicated space where the community can gather to reflect on The Constellation’s portrayal of Sheikh Zayed.
A water channel that symbolises the falaj – the ancient irrigation systems used by the people of the Arabian Peninsula – and a Heritage Garden also feature.
Featuring 1,327 geometric shapes suspended on more than 1,000 cables, The Constellation offers a 3D portrait of Sheikh Zayed that can be experienced differently from multiple vantage points.