Sheikh Khalifa birthplace will tell UAE story
Later this month, Qasr Al Muwaiji will open its doors to the general public. This fort in Al Ain, best known for being the birthplace of the President Sheikh Khalifa, will further sketch out some of rich history of the oasis city, as well as the story of the man who now leads our country.
The fort has been renovated, keeping many of the original architectural features. But it will also house a world-class museum and a permanent exhibition dedicated to Sheikh Khalifa.
Because Sheikh Khalifa spent so many years by his father’s side, he has, for most of his life, been a public figure. But, of course, there is also a more personal, private side to every leader. It is some of this story that Qasr Al Muwaiji will highlight.
By taking viewers on a journey through the president’s early childhood, emphasising the development of his leadership from young man to the president of the nation, the exhibition will tell a remarkable story of one man, of the progression of the Al Nahyan family, and the achievements of the nation.
Such stories matter, because they are a part of the fabric of the country itself. Just as the Al Ain Palace Museum tells the story of Sheikh Zayed – it was the founding president’s family home – and also the story of the UAE, so Qasr Al Muwaiji will sketch out how the country’s past brought to life its present and laid the foundations for its future.
It is noteworthy that this new museum is in Al Ain. Abu Dhabi naturally gets most of the public’s attention, due to its size and political and commercial importance as the capital. But the emirate’s second city has had an outsize influence on the rest of the country as well, and it is some of this influence on the broader culture of the UAE that the new fort will seek to highlight.
When Qasr Al Muwaiji opens, it will be one of a small number of historic buildings in the country that tries to do two important but different things: tell the personal story of a man and tell the grand story of a nation.