From The National news paper :


DUBAI // A Dh500 million museum celebrating the birth of the nation was on Monday endorsed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The Union Museum, which will cover 2.5 hectares and include restored historic buildings, will tell the UAE’s story from 1968 onwards.

“It’s important to have such a museum in the UAE because until now, we don’t have one in the country,” said Rashad Bukhash, director of architectural heritage at Dubai Municipality.

“Such a museum will show the history, the establishment of the country and how it was set up, as well as how it was developed during the last 44 years.

“All this is vital for our coming generations who did not witness the establishment of the country and what the situation was before that.”

The museum will be next to the Union House, the historical landmark where the signing of the treaty establishing the UAE took place in 1971.

“New generations will able to see through this museum the UAE’s history, establishment and the achievements that happened since its inception, as it will cover some parts before that date,” Mr Bukhash said.

“Residents in the UAE will also be able to learn about the country’s history and it is a very important attraction for the tourists. The country is putting a lot of emphasis on tourism. It is the third income of the country and we had more than 12 million tourists in Dubai last year.”

Sheikh Mohammed was briefed by the members of the board of Union House on the final designs and external parts of the museum, and the timeline for the project.

The museum will outline events from 1968 to 1974 and draw on the political and social circumstances of this period of UAE history.

“It is very crucial for people to see this,” Mr Bukhash said. “There will be some information about previous rulers, such as Sheikh Zayed [founding President of the UAE], Sheikh Rashid [bin Saeed, former Ruler of Dubai], and other Rulers of other emirates.”

The entrance of the new pavilion is designed in the shape of a manuscript with seven columns that simulate the pen used to sign the declaration. The museum includes permanent and temporary halls, a theatre, educational and recreational areas and administration offices.

“Museums as buildings are very important because within a couple of hours, visitors can get a lot of information, whether a national or a specialised museum, such as falcon or camel museums,” Mr Bukhash said. “You can get a lot of culture, people and history of the UAE.

“In Abu Dhabi, there is the Sheikh Zayed Museum, called National Museum of the UAE. The Louvre and Guggenheim will open soon and in Dubai we will have a lot of other new museums in the Shindagha area coming up, as well as in Sharjah.”

The museum will be partly built underground and the area’s landscape will be restored to its 1971 conditions. A new waterfront will simulate the coastline in that period and a 123 metre-flag pole will substitute the old one, which was built in 2001.