The National Library and Archives has launched the first Encyclopedia of UAE History in the UAE, within the framework of its great national mission and role of collecting and preserving the memory of the nation.

The Encyclopedia of UAE History project was launched in a grand ceremony attended by prominent cultural and academic figures including specialists, experts and researchers who will contribute to the accomplishment of the encyclopedia.

The ceremony’s opening speech was delivered by His Excellency Abdullah Majed Al Ali, Director General of the National Library and Archives, who welcomed all the esteemed guests and emphasised that history is a repository of civilisation and culture. His Excellency also said that this encyclopedia of UAE history project encompasses a broad spectrum of topics on the history and heritage of the UAE, and its civilisational and cultural achievements.

His Excellency Abdullah Majed Al Ali said: "The National Library and Archives proudly offers its holdings and treasures of historical records, documents, and sources on the Gulf region in general, and the UAE in particular. The encyclopedia of UAE history is distinct from all others by virtue of its documented and authentic historical information that provides various users a broad fund of knowledge and ready access to the UAE ancient and glorious history which the UAE Founder  and Builder, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan considered the real and essential gateway to understanding the present and perceiving the future. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, also stressed the importance of history through his words: The history of man on the UAE land is a story that dates back thousands of years and which is told to future generations and the world. The deserts, mountains and seas bear witness to the greatness of man and the manifestations of his creativity and resilience in the face of life’s hardships. This land bears evidence of successive civilisations that survived despite the harsh circumstances and great challenges through the impressive determination of its great men, thanks to whom it currently enjoys this development, prosperity, and progress."

His Excellency Al Ali thanked the scientific committees and teams in charge of writing and supervising the compilation of this encyclopedia, and who were carefully selected as renowned, qualified and experienced researchers, academics and intellectuals. His Excellency said that the encyclopedia of UAE history will have a vital role in the civic education and national upbringing of future generations.

His Excellency Al Ali reviewed the achievements of the National Library and Archives’ recently organised workshops in terms of the encyclopedia’s historical methodology and theme arrangement, the depicted historical eras in chronological sequence, the work plan stages, and expected outcome. His Excellency also reviewed the encyclopedia’s projected goal and aspired role of preserving the memory of the nation for future generations.

The Encyclopedia of UAE History shall initially be digitally issued consisting of seven sections, the first of which focuses on the UAE’s geography, location, area, natural resources and physical features. The other sections will deal with its history. The encyclopedia is supervised by an advisory body including members from various UAE emirates. Its scientific committee comprises renowned experts, researchers and specialised historians.

According to the project’s developed workplan, the encyclopedia is expected to be finally accomplished within five years, and the National Library and Archives encourages and welcomes the participation of scientific and cultural institutions, researchers and specialists to further enrich the encyclopedia with accurate, authentic and documented information.