A picture if the new Dh50 polymer note. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Don’t have any plans for the weekend? How about a cultural trip across the UAE? For inspiration, you can simply pull out the fresh new polymer notes in your wallet.

The new Dh5, Dh10 and Dh50 notes that have been issued by the UAE Central Bank show glimpses of some of the cultural and historic landmarks in the UAE. So, buckle up and take a trip across four Emirates to learn about the UAE’s history, culture and heritage.

1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

New Dh10 polymer note
New Dh10 polymer note Image Credit: UAE Central Bank

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques and its architecture makes it one of the most recognisable landmarks in the UAE. You can spot a picture of the mosque on one side of the new Dh10 polymer note.

Abu Dhabi’s tourism website – visitabudhabi.ae – notes that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had the mosque built in Abu Dhabi to create a cultural haven that welcomes and inspires people from all backgrounds.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Image Credit: Pexels

Built in just over 10 years, the mosque has over 1,000 amethyst-and-jasper-embedded columns, 82 white marble domes, reflective pools, gold-plated Swarovski chandeliers, and a courtyard featuring one of the largest marble mosaic artworks in the world. So, a visit to the mosque not only provides a glimpse of Islamic architecture and design, it also opens up doors to greater cultural understanding.

You can also take a free cultural tour, which lasts for 45 minutes. However, you would need to book a slot in advance on the mosque’s official website - www.szgmc.gov.ae.

Location: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Abu Dhabi

Location link

2. Wahat Al Karama

Features of the new Dh50 polymer note
No. 9 – Wahat Al Karama on the new Dh50 note

Wahat Al Karama, which is Arabic for the Oasis of Dignity, is a memorial, honouring Emirati martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country. It is home to a permanent memorial commemorating the UAE’s heroes, including soldiers, police, diplomats and civilians, since 1971.

The structure is made up of 31 massive leaning tablets clad in aluminium. The symbolism behind the memorial is clear: each tablet leans against the other, portraying the unity, solidarity and mutual support that bind the leadership of the UAE with its citizens, residents and the servicemen and women who protect them.

wahat al karama
wahat al karama Image Credit: Gulf News archives

If you visit the memorial, you can also see an Honour Guard march, which happens every day before sunset.

It is open to the public daily from 9am to 10pm and is free of charge.

Location: The memorial is located directly opposite the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. There are regular shuttle buses to and from the mosque, as well as a connection via a pedestrian bridge.

Location link

3. Etihad Museum

Features of the new Dh50 polymer note
No. 13 – Etihad Museum

Etihad, which is Arabic for union, is a word you will come across quite regularly while you are in the UAE. This is because it is an essential part of the story on how the UAE was founded. A trip to the Etihad Museum, a picture of which is displayed on the new Dh50 note, is the best way to learn more about this story.

Etihad Museum
Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche/Gulf News

The museum is located near the Union House, the very place where the constitution was signed in 1971. The museum is aimed at inspiring visitors through the country’s remarkable journey since then.

Location: 1 Jumeirah Street, Al Mina, Dubai

Location link

4. Khorfakkan amphitheatre

Dh10 polymer note
Dh10 polymer note Image Credit: UAE Central Bank

Inaugurated in 2020, the Khorfakkan amphitheatre is a cultural landmark in Sharjah, a picture of which can be seen on the Dh10 polymer note. Inspired by Roman architecture, the amphitheatre also has a waterfall next to it, made out of natural rock. Both the amphitheatre and waterfall face the Khorfakkan shore, making it a perfect place for a time out with family and friends.

Location: Rugaylat Road, Al Mudaifi, Sharjah

Location link

5. Ajman Fort

New Dh5 polymer note
New Dh5 polymer note Image Credit: UAE Central Bank

Once the Ruler’s palace, the 18th century Ajman Fort now houses a museum, which bears witness to the cultural and historical legacy of the UAE’s forefathers. You can spot it on the new Dh5 note. The fort is part of a compound, which includes the Ajman Heritage District.

Location: Sheikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Street, Al Bustan, Ajman

Location link

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6. Dhayah Fort

New Dh5 polymer note
New Dh5 polymer note Image Credit: UAE Central Bank

Dhayah Fort is the only hill fort remaining in the UAE and can be spotted on the new Dh5 note.

It dates back to the Late Bronze Age (1600 – 1300 BC) when locals used it for settlement and fortification. The twin-peaked golden mud-brick fortress was built during the 19th century and restored in the late 1990s. It is an important historical monument where the 1819 battle between British troops and local Qawasim tribes took place, according to Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism website visitrasalkhaimah.com.

Dhayah Fort
Image Credit: Shutterstock

If you wish to visit the fort, it is advisable to visit during the daytime, as there aren’t any lights along the climb. However, once you are on top of the hill, not only will you be able to enjoy a slice of history, you will also have an excellent vantage point of the green lowlands and the meandering creek at a distance.

Location of the Dhayah Fort Welcome Centre