“A national tribute that narrates stories of the UAE’S heroes.” Wahat Al Karama
Abu Dhabi’s cultural landmark, Wahat Al Karama was constructed as a permanent war memorial and tribute to the UAE’s fallen heroes. Located opposite Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the striking monument, which is free to visit, is made up of thirty-one giant leaning pillars.
Wahat Al Karama, a vision of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan translates in English to ‘Oasis of Dignity’. The memorial opened four years ago on 30th November 2016, which is also known as Commemoration Day. There are three areas; the leaning pillars, the Pavilion of Honour and the Memorial Plaza.
The memorial commemorates those who sacrificed their lives serving the nation. The pillars lean against one another as a symbol of togetherness, a representation of the unity and solidarity of the citizens, leaders and servicemen and women of the country. A series of poems and quotes by the royal families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are inscribed on the pillars. It’s a serene place and you can wander between the pillars to read the inscriptions
The Pavilion of Honour is a polygon shape with a circular internal wall covered with plaques made of reclaimed aluminium from armoured military vehicles. The individual plaques are each inscribed with the name, rank, service unit and date of death of those who died. Eight slabs make up the pavilion’s roof, seven to stand for the emirates and an eighth to honour the heroes. Each emirate is also represented by seven large, transparent glass panels that sit at the centre of the structure surrounded by a pool of water. The Pledge of Allegiance of the UAE Armed Forces is inscribed at the rear of the structure as well as passages from the Quran.
The Memorial Plaza has an amphitheatre that’s used for gatherings and ceremonial occasions and a large circular pool of water in the centre. The mosque can be seen in reflection in the pool at certain times of the day. There’s interactive visitor experiences in the visitor centre as well as more information about the memorial along with personal artefacts from the heroes, art and additional resources.
Wahat Al Karama
Location: Wahat Al Karama Street, Abu Dhabi
Free to visit
Book a tour www.wahatalkarama.ae/en/bookatour.aspx
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All photos © Jo Brett. All rights reserved.