Digital marketingMENA

In partnership with Google, the National Archives of the United Arab Emirates brings the UAE’s history online

Google announced today its partnership with the National Archives of the UAE to launch a digital exhibit on its Cultural Institute platform ( which showcases footage of the unification and the foundation of the United Arab Emirates. This comes in celebration of the upcoming National Day of the UAE and in marking the journey to the establishment of the Emirates.

This is the first time parts of the footage from the UAE’s union are available globally for people around the world to access anywhere and from any device. Through a combination of documents, photos and videos, the exhibit presents an educational telling of the founding of the UAE. It features key milestones like the signing of the Declaration of the Union on December 2nd, 1971 by the UAE’s founding fathers including His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The iconic exhibit also highlights the first flag-hoisting for the declaration of Union and the gathering of the UAE rulers outside the Guest Palace in Dubai. Users can also explore the first collection of stamps in the country.

Dr. Abdulla El Reyes, Director General of the National Archives, commented on the launch and said: “Since its establishment, the United Arab Emirates has been a symbol of development and prosperity. Through the rich material of The National Archives, we want to show the world the history, leadership of the country and the vision of its founding leaders. We are very happy to partner with the Google Cultural Institute who helped us bring this online exhibition to the world.”

Tarek Abdalla, Head of Marketing for Google in Middle East and North Africa, said: “Launching the national archives of the UAE on the Cultural Institute platform is in line with our broader mission to make information more accessible. The UAE’s National Archives has a wealth of important material that people can explore. We have the technology capability to help people not only get online but to explore history in a more exciting and interactive way.”

Many cultural institutions have extensive archives of information, much of which cannot always be put on public display. The Google Cultural Institute builds technology to make it easy for curators to bring these archives to life through interactive online exhibitions. Anyone can explore cultural content through themes like historic moments, monuments or cultural figures or search for precise a precise region or key word. The platform gives access to a wide range of assets like paintings, photos, sculptures and manuscripts.– from Nelson Mandela’s handwritten prison letters, to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and World War II’s D-Day.

Other national archives available on the Google Cultural Institute include that of the United States and the Netherlands. And in its continuous effort to provide a richer discovery and local map experience on the web, Google has collected panoramic imagery of landmarks and sites in the UAE like Burj Khalifa and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in 2013 and the Liwa desert in 2014. Google has also previously brought online the National Museum of Iraq and the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.

The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community  bring their cultural treasures, archives, heritage sites and other material to the world. To date, over six million items across artworks, photographs and archives are available in the Cultural Institute.

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