Visitors being briefed about the Birmingham Quran at the Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A copy of one of the oldest surviving Islamic manuscripts, the Birmingham Quran, is being exhibited at Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the UK.

The Birmingham Quran is more than 1,350 years old, having been carbon-dated to 468-645AD. The origin of the four-page manuscript, which has been in the possession of the University of Birmingham since the 1930s, had not been properly determined until recently when a professor noticed that the binding appeared uniquely different from known vellum bindings of existing old manuscripts.

Noora Mohammad Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, who attended the opening of the exhibition on Sunday evening, said: “Our two countries share a belief in the importance of preserving, sharing and celebrating culture. I believe that bringing the Birmingham Quran exhibition to the UAE will play an important role in fostering mutual respect and understanding between our nations, cultures and faiths.

“I am delighted that the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development has been able to support the University of Birmingham and British Council in bringing this truly exciting digital exhibition to Abu Dhabi as a key part of the UAE-UK Year of Cultural Collaboration.”

The Birmingham Quran exhibition forms a highlight of the UK-UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration, held under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and The Prince of Wales.

Senior officials, including Philip Parham, the British Ambassador to the UAE; and Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) University of Birmingham; attended the exhibition opening in Abu Dhabi.

From Abu Dhabi, the exhibition will move to Atrium 6 in Dubai’s Design District from April 19 to May 3, 2018.

The interactive digital exhibition is open in Abu Dhabi till November 29. More than 14,000 people visited the exhibition at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) earlier this month.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, viewed the exhibition in Sharjah after chairing an extraordinary Cabinet meeting at SIBF. His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, also visited the exhibition in Sharjah.


What: Exhibit of Birmingham Quran

Where: Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi

When: November 20-29

9am to 10pm (weekdays)

2pm to 10pm (weekends)