Sheikh Zayed, the tutelary figure of the UAE, is omnipresent in Abu Dhabi. Continue...
“Thirty years ago we had no buildings, and when we saw buildings in other countries we used to envy them and wonder how we could convince our people to be satisfied with what they had”.Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan
Each year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrates a new thematic in honour of the young unified monarchy. 2018 was proclaimed the Year of Zayed, in reference to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, UAE’s founding father 47 years earlier. The UAE is short of labour and 80% of its population are foreigners, including from Central and South East Asia. Giant portraits of Zayed hang in the windows of the shopping malls where wealthy Muslim families flock and on the arteries running through the city. Zayed, the tutelary figure of the UAE, is also to be found at the Grand Mosque: the founder of the Zayed Mosque is buried there. The largest mosque in the country, the Zayed Mosque is permanently populated by tens of thousands of local and foreign pilgrims, seasonal workers from Asia and tourists from around the world. In Abu Dhabi, the figure of Sheikh Zayed is omnipresent.
Abu Dhabi, December 2018