The Founders Memorial

The Founders Memorial, a permanent national tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is set to open up to the public on April 22. Located on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the destination will be a place to learn about the UAE’s founding father. Dubai Eye 103.8 got a sneak preview, as well as a one-on-one chat with the designer Ralph Helmick, who spoke to Danny Norton about the process of creating the memorial: 

The Founders Memorial will bring to life the legacy of the UAE’s founding father through art and nature.

Starting off at the Welcome Centre, visitors can take in a multimedia experience highlighting Sheikh Zayed’s life through rare film footage and personal stories from people that knew him.

The centrepiece of the memorial is ‘The Constellation’, a monumental portrait of Sheikh Zayed.

The portrait is made up of more than 1,300 geometric shapes suspended in space from 1,110 cables, creating a series of evolving personal encounters with the image

At dusk, the Constellation is gradually illuminated by over 2,000 lights, shining like the stars in the sky

It sits in a beautifully landscaped area of 3.3 hectares, featuring trees and plants native to the UAE, reflecting Sheikh Zayed’s love of nature and his deep commitment to nurturing local flora and fauna

There is also an elegant water feature that starts atop a set of stairs that leads down to The Constellation, symbolising the ancient irrigation system used by people of the Arabian Peninsula.

When opened, the memorial will be free to access and open daily from 9am to 10pm, with complimentary tours available from trained guides in both Arabic and English.

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