(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Work has begun on a new museum, which will be housed in a historic spot.
The Union Museum, construction of which began last week, will be built next to Union House, where the UAE's constitutional founding document was signed. The building is also home to the country's second biggest UAE flag, which measures 20 metres by 40 metres in its spot 120 metres above the ground.
Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) chairman Mattar Al Tayer said the site had been prepared by shifting important artifacts into onsite buildings, constructing a six metre boundary wall, demolishing the aging buildings on the site, inspecting and treating the soil, and shifting the utility lines.
"The Union Museum aims to reinvigorate the historical value of the site and the building that witnessed the signing and the announcing of the establishment of the UAE, and converting the present building into a museum that acts as a radiation hub for citizens, residents and tourists to know more about phases and challenges of establishing the federation together with the achievements made throughout this period."
He said it was also hoped the project would underscore the value of the federation in the eyes of citizens and future generations, document the evolution phases of the federation with emphasis on the role of the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in laying the building blocks of the federation, recount the lifestyle of residents of the Emirates before the formation of the federation - such as the Bedouin people and seafarers - and spotlight the "sweeping development and key achievements made through the blessed history of the UAE".
The Union Museum building is to consist of five divisions; the first one highlights the story of the region and the life patterns of population in various (desert, coastal and hilly) terrains in the pre-federation era; the second division spotlights the precise details of forming the UAE federation through screening documents, speeches and meetings culminated in the signing of the constituent document of establishing the federation, and this division houses a giant hall designated for hologram shows (3D images); the third division depicts the human, urban and economic developments and achievements made by the UAE; the fourth division is the Pearl Hall, dedicated to official meetings and functions; and the fifth division is a festivities yard comprising an outdoor theatre with a capacity of 500 people, where capability for staging sound, light and water-themed performances.
Al Tayer said Phase I of the construction project was set for completion by the middle of the year.
"Afterwards the RTA will award the contract of the main building of the museum; which will be a beacon and a monument narrating the full story of the federation, the formation of the United Arab Emirates, and futuristic drive of this blessed country."