Year of 50: Portrait of UAE leaders with coins from 88 countries

Abu Dhabi - The idea of artwork comes from the time of pre-Hafilat smart cards, when coins were used to pay for bus fares.

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 4 Aug 2021, 8:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 4 Aug 2021, 8:49 PM

Celebrating the ‘Year of 50th’, the local transport authority in Abu Dhabi has created glittering portraits of the UAE leadership using coins.

The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport has made the artwork with coins from 88 countries to represent the social and cultural harmony between the UAE and other nations.

The ITC said the initiative is following in the lines of the visionary leader, the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who once said: “We preserve the past, maintain the present and build the future.”

Sheikh Zayed encouraged communication between different cultures and on preserving heritage. Based on this, the ITC launched an initiative to create portraits of the late Sheikh Zayed; His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The idea of artwork comes from the time of pre-Hafilat smart cards, when coins were used to pay for the bus fares by residents as well as tourists from other countries.

“In 2013, the ICT discontinued the use of all cash payments and switched to digital payment system using Hafilat smart cards as the service payment method,” said Ateeq Mohammed Al Mazroui, operations division director, public transport sector.

The artwork expresses love and gratitude to the UAE and its leaders who built the country on the foundations of tolerance and made it a role model. An artwork also shows the development in Abu Dhabi in all sectors, especially in the transport sector.

The initiative comes in celebration of the ‘Year of the 50th’ and was created by Arab artist Osama Sbeata, who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest sand painting.

The artwork is kept in the main lobby of the ITC building in Al Maqta.

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