Abu Dhabi: On the way to Abu Dhabi’s Breakwater area, a long colourful display and fluttering flags are proving a crowd-puller. Visitors can be seen studying the exhibit, while guides point out its highlights and explain its intricacies.
This is Abu Dhabi’s statistical timeline, which shows its economic, social and environmental growth since the 1960s until 2012. It also shows the Government’s vision for Abu Dhabi’s future until 2030. Created by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD), it was launched on Sunday to commemorate the UAE’s 42nd National Day and present the Abu Dhabi emirate’s development to residents and visitors alike.
The timeline was inaugurated by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and Shaikh Theyab Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Executive Committee.
An application to note the display as the world’s largest timeline has also been sent to the Guinness World Records, Khalid Al Hashemi, executive director of strategy and corporate excellence at the SCAD, said earlier.
The timeline follows 25 statistical indicators, including demography, education, health, economy and investment, for a period of about 50 years. It is 170 metres long, four metres wide and three metres high, and is divided into five sections, with each covering a decade of Abu Dhabi’s development. The display also features selected quotes from the UAE’s founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and other leaders.
“The opening of the timeline saw about 1,000 people in attendance, and the exhibit is expected to attract more than 10,000 people over the next month. A number of schools have also scheduled trips to the venue,” Lubna Al Maskari, communication and media manager at SCAD, told Gulf News.
The area also features a gallery of police photographs and cars, as well as a children’s corner and daily quiz competitions.
“The activities will last daily between 10am and 10pm until December 7, but the timeline will be kept on display for about a month,” Lubna added.
“I was headed to Marina Mall with my son and noticed the bright lights here. Since my son is particularly interested in the UAE’s development in the 1970s, we will be spending some time going through the timeline,” said Iyad Al Sahli, a 40-year-old IT director from Jordan.
“One of the things we’ve already enjoyed looking at is how the Abu Dhabi Government hopes the emirate will shape up by 2030,” he added.
Ronald Domingo, 51, an American tourist, said he had been amazed by the growth that the statistics represented.
“It is really informative to see how quickly the UAE has grown, and the positive trends in Abu Dhabi over the years, especially in the areas of education and female participation,” he said.