Etihad Museum Named ‘Best New Museum in the MENA Region

Etihad Museum Named ‘Best New Museum in the Middle East and Africa’ at The Leading Culture Destinations Awards 2017.

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, has announced that the Etihad Museum scooped top honours at The Leading Culture Destinations Awards 2017 in London, where it took home the coveted ‘Best New Museum in the Middle East and Africa’ award and also placed first runner-up in the ‘Best Museum Architecture of the Year’ category.

The prestigious award was received by Dubai Culture, which manages the Etihad Museum’s day-to-day operations, permanent and temporary exhibitions, and educational programmes, and the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), which was responsible for the design and construction of the museum, during a ceremony that took place on 29th September at the Trafalgar St. James Hotel on London's Trafalgar Square.

Commenting on the achievement, His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health & Prevention and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dubai Culture, commented: "I would like to gift this award to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the members of The Supreme Federal Council, as it captures their vision for the Etihad Museum to be a national, cultural and tourist landmark in the UAE that educates citizens, residents and visitors about the political history of the founding of the nation in 1971, and honours the Founding Fathers .”

His Excellency added: "This recognition honours the success the museum has achieved in a short period of time in strengthening its position on the global tourism stage, becoming famed as an important centre for academic exchange among both students and experts, cementing its role as an important reference point for the historical education of future Emirati generations and UAE residents, and acknowledging the legacy of the Founding Fathers."

"This award comes in line Dubai Culture’s efforts to support the implementation of the UAE Soft Power Strategy by enhancing the country's reputation globally to highlight the UAE’s heritage, identity and culture.

The award will motivate our team to continue our ambitions of enhancing the rich cultural landscape of Dubai and the UAE in line with the strategic objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021, which aims to enhance the Emirate's position as a city of happy, creative and empowered people."

His Excellency concluded: “I would like to thank His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed Al Mur, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Etihad Museum, as well as all members of the committee, for their valuable contributions to building this national monument, in addition to our partners at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the body responsible for developing the museum project, which is now recognised for its unique design and its inclusion of buildings of great historical value that recall the moment when the union and the firm decision of the Founding Fathers was first announced. Dubai Culture is always committed to developing the museum sector in Dubai and this was a key driver in the establishment of Dubai Museums Company, which will play a pivotal role in leveraging the Emirate’s current and upcoming museums, and in facilitating cultural exchange among the members of Dubai’s dynamic and global society”

His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), dedicated the award win to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was the main supporter of the museum’s distinctive architectural design.

Since it opened, the museum has become a landmark that documents the success of the Arab world in the modern era and also acts as a cultural centre for citizens and residents.

His Excellency Al Tayer highlighted the importance of honouring the achievements that the Founding Fathers made to unify the Emirates, and of instilling the values of the union in the hearts of citizens and future generations.

His Excellency Al Tayer commented: "Because of its historical importance, the Etihad Museum has received the generous support and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also approved the current design of the museum following several design stages.

The museum is located underground and connected to the entrance of the Union House and the Guest House, and is surrounded by a historical site that has been restored to its 1971 state. 

Seven columns represent the pens used by the Founding Fathers to sign the Union Agreement, and even the waterfront reflects the coastline that existed in that period. All of this gives visitors an evocative glimpse back in time.”

His Excellency Al Tayer congratulated Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Office at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority on the prestigious award win, as well as members of the Advisory Council of the Etihad Museum headed by His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, and the RTA and Dubai Culture teams.

The Leading Culture Destinations Awards recognises a new breed of museums, galleries and cultural institutions worldwide via a rigorous selection process conducted by global leaders in the museum sector.

Reflecting Dubai Culture’s own mandates, the awards programme celebrates culture as an integral part of life and shines a light on the most exceptional contributions that museums are making to cultural life around the world. 

Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to the Emirate’s rich heritage with a variety of initiatives that take place throughout the year.

The Authority’s mandate is to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilisations and cultures through enriching initiatives that benefit the Emirate’s citizens, residents and visitors.
The Etihad Museum tells the story of one of the most significant moments in the UAE’s timeline – the birth of the nation with the 1971 Union Agreement – through the eyes of the Founding Fathers.

The dynamic, 21st century museum was established to serve as an intimate, informative and enjoyable insight into the events that surrounded this historic event, and has been designed to offer a holistic experience from start to finish, leading visitors on a memorable journey with interactive items to be found at every step.