ABU DHABI: The memorial site created to honour the UAE’s brave heroes will be named ‘Wahat Al Karama’ (Oasis of Dignity), His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, announced during his visit to the site on Thursday.
The site is located east of the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Shaikh Mohammad said Wahat Al Karama is a cultural landmark that reflects the UAE’s pride in the sacrifices made by its heroes and where the values of dignity, unity and solidarity for the sake of the nation are enshrined, making it a true oasis of honour.
He emphasised that Wahat Al Karama is a national landmark to unite the people of the UAE in gratitude for the heroes who have honoured the UAE, adding that it would tell the heroic tales of those who have given their lives for the country. The site would immortalise the heroes’ memory, and forever bear witness to their sacrifices, inspiring future generations of young Emiratis to adhere to their country’s national values, Shaikh Mohammad said.
The UAE’s leadership, citizens and residents alike, Shaikh Mohammed said, would express their deepest gratitude to the heroes and their families for their unmatched sacrifices that have ensured the safety, stability and wellbeing of the nation’s future generations.
Shaikh Mohammad began his tour at the Memorial Plaza, which includes a large space that will be used as a venue for national ceremonies.
The memorial consists of 31 metal panels, each leaning on the other, in an expression of strength, mutual support and solidarity, reflecting the unbreakable bond between the UAE’s leadership, its people, and those who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Shaikh Mohammad was also shown the poems engraved on the panels of the nemorial, written by the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE, as well as the memorial’s long supportive spine which bears the pledge of allegiance of the UAE Armed Forces.
The tour continued to the Pavilion of Honour, which contains the names of each of the UAE’s heroes since the time of the country’s unification in 1971. Each hero’s name is displayed on an illuminated panel made from aluminium reclaimed from Armed Forces vehicles.
Accompanying Shaikh Mohammad on his visit were Shaikh Khalifa Bin Tahnoun Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, Director of the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; Mohammad Mubarak Al Mazroui, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; and Lt-General Hamad Mohammad Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.
Wahat Al Karama: The Pride of the UAE
Housing The Memorial and the Pavilion of Honour, Wahat Al Karama is situated across from Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and to its east.
Wahat Al Karama covers an area of 46,000 square metres, symbolically located between the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces. Wahat Al Karama is open to the public 24 hours a day.
The site includes the Memorial Plaza, a large open area of over 4,000 square metres which will host the annual Commemoration Day ceremony. A circular pool of water, 15mm deep, occupies the centre of the Memorial Plaza. The pool provides a unique reflection of the Mosque and also the Memorial’s panels.
Next to the plaza is The Memorial. Designed by British artist Idris Khan, the Memorial comprises 31 aluminium-clad panels, each leaning on the other, representing the unity, solidarity and mutual support that binds together leadership and citizens. The panels are engraved with poems written by the UAE’s Founding Father, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The long spine at the rear of the Memorial is engraved with the pledge of allegiance of the UAE Armed Forces.
Wahat Al Karama also includes the Pavilion of Honour. The Pavilion’s roof is made from eight large panels, seven of which represent the UAE’s emirates and the eighth representing the nation’s heroes. At the centre of the pavilion are seven massive glass panels, representing the seven emirates; on each is written the Armed Forces’ pledge of allegiance.