Journey of a Union student Q&A: Masdar City

Journey of the Union, a 10-day road trip for 28 Emirati students, is into its fifth day of it's journey. The National asks three students a few questions about their country as they rediscover it.

Marwa Al Bloshi, from Dubai, is photographed at the Ministry of Education in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National
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ABU DHABI // As the country prepares to celebrate National Day, 28 gifted Emirati school pupils have begun their travels across the seven emirates on a journey of national identity.

The Journey of The Union, an initiative from Al Bayt Mitwahid, an association formed by employees of the Crown Prince Court, aims to teach the pupils about the achievements of each of the emirates over the past 43 years and foster greater awareness of the path and strength that shaped the United Arab Emirates.

The day 5 of the 10-day bus journey took the students to the Masdar Institute where researchers introduced them to Masdar’s vision of the future.

As their journey continues, The National asked three of the students a few questions about the country they are exploring for the first time:


If a visitor who had never been to the UAE were here for a day and you could show them anything, what would it be and why?

I would begin with historic landmarks, which show the old way of life in the UAE. I would talk about our customs and traditions, which are our roots and tell us about life in the past, about education and other aspects of life. The historic landmarks such as Al Ahdiya school Al Fahidi neighbourhood and Al Bastaki. Then I would talk about modernity and architecture throughout the country. This way I would show our past and our present. As our Father Zayed said: He who has no past has no present.

What is the one thing you would like the rest of the UAE to know about your home emirate?

The Palm Islands consist of three artificial islands on Dubai’s coast. They are the largest islands of their kind in the world. They are the world’s eighth wonder. They are a source of pride for all Emirati citizens. My country’s achievements aren’t limited to land, but extended also to the sea, entrenching the principle that nothing is impossible.

What did you learn about that you did not know before?

I am fully aware of Dubai’s history and accomplishments, however, I did learn new things about the history of the Al Fahidi neighbourhood and Al Bastakiya.

In your opinion, what are some of the most important achievements of the UAE over the past 43 years?

The UAE continues to preserve its heritage and customs. It creates tourism campaigns and programmes to introduce visitors to our ways. In Al Bastakiya, for instance, there is a special programme for foreign tourists to introduce them to our traditions.

What message will you take away from the Journey of the Union?

Although the UAE is already an advanced country, it continues to strive for improvement and for more success. With perseverance, wise leadership and solid plans, nothing is impossible.