Saadiyat a look to the future

The 28 Emirati youngsters chosen to tour the seven emirates are impressed by the artistic concept that pays ‘tribute to our rich cultural values’.

Othaiba Almazrori, from Sharjah, one of the pupils chosen to undertake a 10-day journey around the Emirates. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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ABU DHABI // On day four of the “Journey of the Union” 28 Emirati pupils from across the Emirates visited Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi to understand the progress being made on the UAE’s cultural front.

Manarat Al Saadiyat, which means “the place of enlightenment”, is a 15,400 square metre visitor centre, designed to bring the vision of the Saadiyat Island to life through the Saadiyat Story.

“Its amazing and a true reflection of Father Zayed’s saying that if a nation forgets its past, it will never become successful in the present and future,” said 15-year-old Sultan Al Nuaimi.

Sultan had travelled from Al Ain to join the journey.

“Saadiyat Island is a beautiful concept. It reflects our transition from our glorious past towards a brighter future,” said Sultan, who aims to be the “best citizen of the country” and fulfilling what “Baba Zayed” dreamed about his coming generation.

“Sheikh Zayed was the best leader in the world. He put all the basics right in nation building. We are now continue building his dream brick by brick,” he said.

Asma Ali Almutawwa, a visitor specialist at Al Manarat, took pupils through the Saadiyat journey.

Through structural models and digital maps, Asma described the island plan and how it had been shaping up as a leisure, art and cultural hub.

Shaikha Albayraq, a 15-year-old from Umm Al Quwain, was thrilled when she heard that a performing arts centre would be built on the island.

“I love art, especially performing arts. I am looking forward to experience the best opera at this centre one day,” said Shaikha, who had dreams of becoming a writer.

Humaid Al Shamsi, a 16-year-old from Ras Al Khaimah, said he was very proud of his country’s tradition and cultural history.

“The Saadiyat concept is paying tribute to our rich cultural values,” said Humaid, who was impressed by the plans for Sheikh Zayed Museum. “They are very careful about details and reflecting the right picture of the nation.”

Mohammed Saif Al Alili, from UAQ, dreamt of having a villa at Saadiyat.

“This is a dream place to live. When I become a pilot, I will buy a house here,” said a 16-year-old Saif. “I want to live near the Louvre museum. I feel so proud that Louvre is coming to our country.

“People spend time and money to visit that world famous museum but here the museum is coming to our doorstep. This shows our achievement as a nation,” he said.

Othaiba Almazroi, a 16-year-old aspiring engineer from Sharjah, said that she was so impressed with Saadiyat that one day she wanted to design a tower, or “burj” in Arabic, that made the entire nation proud.

“Saadiyat Island should be a must-visit place for all young Emiratis. It is a source of inspiration,” she said.

Ruaa Alshehhi, 16, from RAK said Saadiyat Island reflected the UAE’s identity.

“The beauty is in the detailing. For example, just look at the design of Sheikh Zayed Museum. It looks like a feathers of falcons which was the favourite bird of Sheikh Zayed. I am just enjoying while exploring these artistic secrets,” she said.

Ruaa said that she loved the journey and believed every Emirati student should get the chance to experience treasures of his or her country.

“However, they should earn this extraordinary journey. It is not just a joyride. It is full of knowledge too,” she said.

The 10-day Journey of the Union will end on December 2, UAE National Day.

The pupils will next tour important government offices in the capital, giving them the insight of how the country leaders are running state affairs.

The Journey of the Union is organised by Al Bayt Mitwahid, an association formed from employees of the Crown Prince Court.

It focuses on raising awareness about the achievements and growth of the seven emirates over the past 43 years.