Abu Dhabi: Learn about Sheikh Zayed's legacy, values at The Founder’s Memorial

It is free to access for all, daily from 10am to midnight


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Sun 31 Jul 2022, 1:41 PM

The Founder’s Memorial is inviting the public to learn about the legacy and values of the Founding Father through art, stories, nature and interactive activities.

The Founder’s Memorial is a permanent tribute to the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Through an innovative use of art, landscapes, words, stories and multimedia experiences, the memorial presents a range of personal encounters with Sheikh Zayed as a man and a leader, enabling visitors to gain a deeper understanding of his values.

The major attraction at the monument is The Constellation, an artwork featuring 1,327 geometric shapes suspended on more than 1,000 cables. It offers a dynamic three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed that can be experienced differently from multiple vantage points.

At night, the shapes shine like stars, evoking the timelessness of his vision as a guiding light for the people of the UAE.

One of the largest art installations of its kind, The Constellation is unique in its use of abstract portraiture on this scale. This artwork was awarded first place in the CODA Artistic Design Award 2019 in the institutional artworks category. The internationally recognised award honours successful and innovative projects that integrate the artistic aspect of interior, architectural and public space designs.

Since its inception in 2018, the Founder’s Memorial has provided a focal point where the community throughout the UAE and international visitors can learn about and reflect on the life, legacy, and values of the late Sheikh Zayed through a series of personal encounters that reveal aspects of him as both a man and a leader.

A national landmark, and a cultural tourist destination

Since its foundation four years ago, the Memorial has witnessed a remarkable flow of visitors, that includes both tourists and residents alike. Visitors have had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the founding father’s legacy through the Welcome Centre which includes pictures, stories, and various interactive experiences. It also charts his local and global cultural and humanitarian contributions. Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience the innovative artwork ‘The Constellation,’ featuring a dynamic three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed.

The Memorial has established its status as a major cultural attraction in Abu Dhabi where international visitors can connect with the UAE and learn about the culture and heritage of the country through the vision and leadership of the nation’s founding father. The late Sheikh Zayed’s values, determination, and ambition are a source of inspiration. His leadership paved the way for the Emirates to become a unified and prosperous nation while his virtues, actions and spirit still guide us to this very day.

Rich cultural tours

Over the past four years, Emirati cultural tour specialists at The Founder’s Memorial have shared the destination’s themes with visitors. Each visit to The Founder’s Memorial is a new immersive experience, where visitors take on a series of interactive experiences and learn about Sheikh Zayed as a person and as a leader, while exploring his inspiring legacy and forward-thinking vision.

The Founder’s Memorial has continued its role in commemorating the late Sheikh Zayed’s extraordinary career through virtual cultural tours presented via live broadcast on the Memorial’s Instagram page. The tours have adhered to precautionary and safety measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These tours saw increasing attendance from individual followers and a number of global governmental and private sector delegations. They have had the opportunity to virtually tour the Memorial.

An immortal biography in a creative mould

The Memorial offers its visitors an integrated and unique experience. Visitors have the the opportunity to listen to rare recordings of Sheikh Zayed. They are able to contemplate his words and explore the causes he supported and advocated. This is also accomplished by viewing a collection of rare photos, videos, and personal stories told by people who knew him closely at the Memorial’s multimedia and interactive experiences system.

Located at the intersection of first and second streets along the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the memorial site encompasses 3.3 hectares of beautifully landscaped public space.

The memorial is free to access for all people and is open daily 10am to midnight.



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