Dubai: A documentary series called History of the Emirates premiered at the Burj Khalifa with a light show on Friday.
New episodes of the five-part series will be telecast on all local TV channels at 9pm daily until November 28, in the run up to National Day celebrations
A presentation of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the series gives a fascinating insight into the 125,000 year-old history of the region.
“More than a television series, History of the Emirates is a landmark event that will bring communities around the UAE together,” said Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation Abu Dhabi and chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.
“The documentary spans from ancient archaeological discoveries to cutting-edge technological advances, shining a light on our remarkable heritage,” he said.
On Friday night, the Burj Khalifa light show captivated bystanders with a preview of the documentary’s immersive content, including archaeological discoveries, pearl-diving and animated ancient landscapes.
Local mobile networks which will host the series on their on-demand streaming services, are displaying ‘HSTORY UAE’ on phones across the nation to highlight the significance of the programme.
In Abu Dhabi, a number of majlis halls are streaming the first episode. Community screenings of the series will be held at Ajman Culture Centre, RAK Cultural Centre, Fujairah Cultural Central, Sharjah’s Cultural Palace, Cinema Akil, Etihad Museum, Umm Al Emarat Park and Qasr Al Hosn
On November 26, Louvre Abu Dhabi will screen an excerpt from the documentary as part of a talk about the Abu Dhabi Pearl, unveiled by DCT last month. Discovered on Marawah Island, the 8,000-year-old pearl is featured in episode three – Trade - of History of the Emirates and is currently on display at the museum.
Over the past two months, a mobile digital museum featuring innovative video, holographic artifacts and interactive VR content from the documentary has been travelling to public and private schools and universities across the Emirates, engaging students with the rich heritage of the UAE.
About history of the Emirates
Presented by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the Academy and produced by Atlantic Productions, History of the Emirates utilises the latest cutting-edge technology interwoven with never-before-seen archival footage, for a programme unlike anything created in this region.
The series will also be combined with immersive content, a mobile digital museum and VR experiences which will transport viewers under the water with traditional pearl divers, across the desert, and inside Qasr al Hosn.
The first episode, Society, opens the UAE’s story 125,000 years ago, following the earliest human migrations out of Africa and the birth of civilisations, as well as the beginning of the majlis system of consultation-driven governance and the UAE’s enduring belief in equality.
In episode two, Innovation, the documentary highlights how relentless innovation in fishing, farming and governance has helped the people of the UAE endure one of the world’s harshest climates for millennia.
Throughout the Trade episode, viewers see how the Emirates has been a focal point for people from across the globe for centuries, from ancient trading routes across Mleiha and Ed Dur to the modern shipping and aerial networks of the UAE.
Episode four, Belief, explores ancient Neolithic burial practices, evidence of snake-cults and sun temple ruins, while archaeological evidence reveals that the people here have always treasured the community above the individual. The episode demonstrates the UAE’s role as a beacon of peaceful co-existence, looking at the rise of Islam alongside other religious practices, such as the Christian monastery of Sir Bani Yas.
Titled Unity, the last episode will highlight the historic trend towards unity in the UAE. The documentary concludes with the origins and stories of the proud tribes of the nation over the past 200 years, and how they have adapted, evolved and eventually unified to form the United Arab Emirates in 1971.