This unique cultural attraction celebrates the life, legacy and values of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, known as the Father of the Nation. This memorial offers locals and international travellers a unique way to immerse themselves in the history and culture of the UAE, with experiences designed to reveal aspects of the country’s broader social, cultural and environmental heritage, from art to stories, exhibitions and more.
Spread over 3.3 hectares of beautifully landscaped public space boasting indigenous flora, the memorial features a Sanctuary Garden including seating areas and a traditional falaj (ancient irrigation system), a Heritage Garden rich with medicinal desert plants, and an elevated walkway offering captivating views of the Arabian Gulf, the city’s dazzling skyline, and the centrepiece of The Founder’s Memorial, The Constellation.
This incredible and monumental public artwork features a three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed designed by artist Ralph Helmick. Housed in a 30-metre-high pavilion, The Constellation contains 1,327 geometric shapes suspended on 1,110 cables to create a series of evolving personal encounters with Sheikh Zayed’s image. By night, the suspended shapes shine like stars, a reminder of Sheikh Zayed’s role as a guiding light for the UAE and its people. This celestial display evokes the timelessness of Sheikh Zayed’s vision, which continues to guide the UAE along a path to progress and prosperity. The suspended shapes constitute five different types of regular, convex polyhedrons known as ‘platonic solids’, which are renowned for their mathematical beauty and symmetry. The Constellation is one of the largest art installations of its kind in the world and is unique in its use of abstract portraiture on this scale. This mesmerising piece can be viewed from multiple vantage points around the memorial.
Frequently asked questions about the Founder's Memorial
Where is the Founder's Memorial?
The Founder's Memorial is located in Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi.
Which day in Ramadan marks the Memorial Day of the UAE's founding father the late Sheikh Zayed?
Zayed Humanitarian Day is observed on the 19th day of Ramadan, coinciding with the death anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Do you need to book in advance to visit the Founder's Memorial?
For larger groups, booking in advance is required. For individuals and small groups, prior booking is not necessary. If you are looking to book a Cultural Tour, that needs to be booked earlier.
When is the Founder's Memorial open?
The Founder's Memorial is open seven days a week from 9 AM to 10 PM.