Spanning 46,000 square metres and located directly opposite the world-famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the capital, Wahat Al Karama is a timeless tribute to commemorate and honour the
Emirati martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the service of their
Wahat Al Karama is home to a permanent memorial to the United Arab Emirates’ heroes – soldiers, police, diplomats and civilians – since 1971.
Following a construction program that took only six months, Wahat Al Karama was officially inaugurated on Commemoration Day in 2016.
The visitor centre:
The visitor centre offers an interactive experience and gives everyone an opportunity to learn about the great foundations, the high principles and the timeless noble values that embodies the UAE's heroic martyrs. The visitor centre comprises four different galleries, each holding a different activity, featuring an electronic guestbook that entails all the official visits from dignitaries who visited Wahat Al Karama from around the world and a souvenir shop with customised products for Wahat Al Karama.
The Memorial Plaza
The Memorial Plaza is an open space surrounded by amphitheatre-style seating - paved using the elegant travertine stone. The area can seat up to 1,200 people and the plaza itself contains a spectacular round shallow pool that offers visitors a breath taken reflection of both the Memorial and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
The Memorial is the centrepiece of Wahat Al Karama - an imposing public art structure made up of thirty-one massive leaning tablets clad in aluminum. The symbolism behind the Memorial is clear – each tablet leans against the other, portraying the unity, solidarity and mutual support that bind the leadership of the country, its citizens and residents with the service men and women who protect them. Visitors can also witness a daily Honour Guard march at the Memorial before sunset.
Upon closer inspections, one can see the poems and quotations engraved into the tablets’ surface in simple script. The long spine at the base of the Memorial bears the Armed Forces’ pledge of allegiance. Idris Khan is the British artist behind the design of the Memorial. Born in the United Kingdom, Idris has already received international acclaim for his minimal yet emotionally charged photographs, videos and sculptures.
The Pavilion of Honour
Beyond the plaza and the Memorials is the Pavilion of Honour. The Pavilion creates a quiet and intimate space for the visitors. Its circular internal walls bear the names of the UAE’s heroes – each engraved on individual panels casted from metal reclaimed from the UAE’s Armed Forces vehicles. The names surround the central sculpture that consists of seven glass panels, seven representing each of the UAE’s seven emirates. The glass panels have the UAE’s pledge of Allegiance printed multiple times on both sides.
*Wahat Al Karama is open to the public daily from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM and it is free of charge.
*Guided tours are available in English and Arabic - note that the last tour will be at 6:00 PM daily.
*There will be shuttle buses and a connecting pedestrian bridge to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
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