x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Exhibition puts its stamp on history

Other collections at the exhibition will give visitors an insight into how post was sent and received in the region before 1963.

:Stamp enthusiasts display their prized collections at last year’s Sharjah Arabian Stamp Exhibition in the Mega Mall. The second annual show will run from October 18 to 22 at the same venue.
:Stamp enthusiasts display their prized collections at last year’s Sharjah Arabian Stamp Exhibition in the Mega Mall. The second annual show will run from October 18 to 22 at the same venue.

The stamps at this year's Sharjah Arabian Stamp Exhibition will piece together the story of the Gulf as a trading hub.

The second annual show, organised by the Emirates Philatelic Association, will run from October 18 to 22 at Mega Mall and feature collections from across the region.

For Khaled Ali Al Omaira, a telecoms engineer from Abu Dhabi, stamps provide a window into the history of a country.

"For me, a stamp is an ambassador," said Mr Al Omaira, whose collection at the exhibition documents the early years of Abu Dhabi's postal service.

"Just take a look at any stamp and you'll see a historical document in there, either documenting a local dress, the face of a leader or a celebration of a major event," said Mr Al Omaira, whose interest in stamps began when he was in school.

The Emirati's collection covers 1963, when the Abu Dhabi postal service was established, to 1971, when the UAE was founded.

Other collections at the exhibition will give visitors an insight into how post was sent and received before 1963.

"Before then, people used to send the mail in a primitive way. A shop owner would go once or twice a week to Dubai to do business and send his own mail, and he would take with him other people's mail. But that's just one way.

"Other people used to send their international mail through the Bahrain Post, or the Qatar Post."

The exhibition would prove that there was more to a stamp than meets the eye, he added.

"These are treasures, honestly. I'm not exaggerating. It's very precious stuff. Plus, the efforts that were put into bringing this collection together were amazing.

"Seriously, it's a big deal."

zalhassani@thenational.ae