UAE, Abu Dhabi: 01 October 2014:His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to His Highnessthe Ruler of the UAE, President of the Camel Race Association and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014,has officially adopted the key elements andactivities ofthe fifth edition of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival. The festival starts on November 20 and will run for 20 days in Al Wathba.Visitors will be captivated by a fusion of fascinating exhibitions, live interactions and innovative entertainment that brings to life the UAE’s rich heritage.
Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin ZayedAl Nahyan, President of the UAE(may God protect him), with the support of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince ofAbu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; under the supervision of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan shared some insights on the festival’s inspiration: “Our founding father, His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may his soul rest in peace), played a pivotal role in preserving the heritage of the UAE. His eternal words of wisdom remind us thata nation without a past does not have a future, because history is the gateway to the future.Today these admirable principles have been kept alive by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to proudly instill our values in upcoming generations.”
His Excellency elaborated:"This festival is a reflection of our Emirati heritage, and a voyage throughtime that encompasses our past, present and future. It reminds us all that our nation’s prosperity is not amere coincidence, but built on the strong foundations of past achievements. Thiscultural showcase is heldwith thesupport of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince ofAbu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; and the direct supervision of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. Their wise leadership has brought giant leaps of progresssince the festival’s inception four years ago,and facilitated its expansion to embrace an international audience.”
H.E Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan has expressed satisfaction over the committee’s efforts, praising the role of each member. He also praised the diverse line-up of activities that will help to promote the UAE’s historical legacyacross the globe. The nation’s history will be portrayed through four natural environments that have shaped its past: desert, oasis, mountains and sea.
His Excellencymet and thankedthe festival’s strategic partners,represented by National Archives, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Abu Dhabi Media. He also thanked the event sponsors, who include General Holding Corporation (SENAAT), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), Etihad Airways, Dolphin Energy, Ghantoot Group, Abu Dhabi Airports and Al Dahra Agriculture Company.
Meanwhile His Excellency Humaid Al Neyadi,General Manager of HH Sheikh Mansour’s Private Office and Vice Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival said: "We are immensely grateful to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for their unwavering support for this festival which bears the name of our founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God bless him. The festival underlines the great importance of our national heritage as a strong foundation on which future achievements can be built."
He added: "The Higher Organizing Committee of the Festival embarked on meetings immediately after the previous edition, to ensure exceptional standards in the upcoming edition. The festival period has been extended to 20 days in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to give the public access to more diverse events. I also want to thank the Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of the Festival, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan for his consistent support and follow-up from the first to the last detail. My appreciation also goes to our loyal strategic partners, sponsors and members of the Higher Organizing Committee of the Festival."
This year’s line-up features a rich diversity of attractions and activities that visually bring to life the long journey from the nation’s forefathers to modern lifestyles.
From20 November, the festival’s fifth edition willenthrall visitors for 20 daysof non-stop enlightenment with attractions that have been enriched and enhanced year after year. Itfeaturesthemes that the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyanwas passionate about.In addition to UAE citizens and residents,this showcase of heritage par excellence is expected to attract visitors from all over the world, as Emirati heritage makes up avital part of the heritage of humanity as a whole.
H.E Mohammed Haji Khouri, Director General of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation commented: "This festival carries special significance for every person in the UAE. Therefore we are proud to contribute to its success by buying products from 150 outlets and distributing them for free to visitors at the festival."
Abdul Raheem Al Bateeh, Director of Public Service Affairs at Abu Dhabi Media added: "Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival is a unique occasion that has a place in the heart of every Emirati and bears the name of Sheikh Zayed, may God have mercy on him. It reminds us of our founding father’s efforts in preserving and promoting our heritage. Abu Dhabi Media is proud to be part of this festival and we will use our media services to support and promote the festival to the world in the coming years."
For his part, H.E Engineer Suhail Mubarak Al Ameri, CEO of General Holding Corporation (SENAAT) explained: "We have been a sponsor of this festival since its inception five years ago, and we will continue our support in the years to come, God willing. We are confident that this year's edition will be a success in all senses of the word."
Meanwhile H.E Engineer DhaferAyed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Al Foah pointed out: "We are supporting Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival because of our pride in our historic achievements, inspired by His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and preserved by the wise leadership of our blessed nation."
In the same context, H.E Eng Mubarak Al Qusaili Al Mansouri, Executive Director of the Agriculture Affairs Sector at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority stated: "This festival is of exceptional value to everyone in our nation as it embodies loyalty to our country. We are proud to participate for the fifth successive year, and during the festival we will showcase examples of how our agriculture has evolved from the past to the present. We will organize several livestock auctions, which have proved very popular. We extend our deepest thanks to the committees that are working to make the festival a success."
Adding to these sentiments, H.E Dr Abdulla El Reyes, Director General of the National Archives commented: "This festival embodies the spirit of His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God bless him, the founder of the National Archives. We have previously participated in this festival and for the fifth edition we will have a variety of museums featuring different environments like mountains. We will use innovative ways to display our material and enlighten our visitors. These visitors will include students, considering that last year our exhibitions attracted over 10,000 students. "
In turn, Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism for TCA (Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority) stated: "We are proud of our participation in the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, where we strive to contribute to the preservation and promotion of our history both within and beyond the UAE. We aim to promote the festival to the world during the next few years."
Last year, large numbers of visitorsenjoyed multiple attractions in Al Wathba area, with the successful event being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who attended the opening ceremony alongside various Highnesses. The exhibitions included “Memories of a Nation”, which displayed ancient artifacts and historical treasures dating back 500 years ago from the desert, oasis, mountains and sea. A fifth element - the city and the state - symbolized the UAE’s modern unity under the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The festival also featured glorious performances to celebrate National Day, including a paradeof over 5,000 Emiratis marching to honor the founding father and using their movements to showcase historical scenes.
The Higher Organizing Committee is continuing its meetings in an effort to finalize all the elements that will enhance the quality and diversity of the festival’s activities. A large turnout of visitors is expected, both from within the country and abroad.