Wahat Al Karama, also known for its English translation of the Oasis of Dignity, is a war memorial and monument in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates located across the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to commemorate all the Emiratis killed on the job. The memorial was unveiled at the United Arab Emirates Day celebrations on 30 November 2016. The memorial is made up of three buildings: adjoining pillars, a tent of honor, and a monument. The names of all the Emirati soldiers killed on the job are listed in the pavilion of honor. British artist Idris Khan was authorized to bring this masterpiece as the centerpiece of the United Arab Emirates Memorial Park in Abu Dhabi.] Submitted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the UAE Armed Forces, the memorial honors members of the UAE Armed Forces and the sacrifices made to support their country’s sovereignty, dignity, and freedom
There are several places for quiet meditation in Abu Dhabi, one of the most famous is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. But those who live or visit the emirate regularly know about another marker nearby – Wahat Al Karama. What is Wahat Al Karama and what does this mean for historical significance in UAE history? Let’s find out. The term translates as ‘place of honor’, and is a reminder of the kind of honoring people who are remembered for the work they did for the Emirates. It is believed that these people have a key role to play in ensuring the independence of the Emirates. Attraction was the first natural monument built to commemorate the armed forces. The splendor of the architecture makes it an ideal tourist destination among other attractions in Abu Dhabi.
The memorial is the first memorial to the war in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and lists the names of all the Emiratis dead who were killed on the job. The first name is that of a 20-year-old police officer, Salem Suhail bin Khamis, who refused to lower the Ras Al Khaimah flag in Greater Tunb and was killed during the capture of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs. The day of his death was marked as the anniversary of the UAE. Members of the Federal Supreme Council meet in the area every year on the anniversary of November 30 in a ceremony to honor fallen soldiers. The site sometimes serves as a meeting place for the United Arab Emirates Cabinet.
WHAT IS IWAHAT AL KARAMA? The literal translation of the word “place oasis dignity” Wahat Al Karama is a war memorial in Abu Dhabi. Permanent tribute honors Emirati soldiers who were killed on the job and other Emiratis who sacrificed their lives for their country. Created by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to keep the memories of the nation’s heroes immortal, this place is a popular tourist destination and is a way for tourists to pay for fallen soldiers, civilian soldiers and women.
From 31 large aluminum carved tablets supporting each other, a shiny pond specially designed to display the Sheikh Zared Grand Mosque – the first view of the Wahat Al Karama monument is enough to make any new visitor look intimidated.
The seven-month-old building was inaugurated on November 30, 2016. Its opening day also marks the day when the country lost its first soldier in the Greater Tunb War in 1971. Everything from the placement of the labels to the carving has a symbolic significance here. For example, structural dependence on a building is used to identify unity, solidarity, and national consultation values.
In addition, 46,000 sq.m. the site also has a stream that shows the first irrigation system in the UAE. The tablets themselves are made of 1000 aluminum cast panels and feature quotes and poems by the founding father of the UAE – His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his son and current ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and other governors and heads of state in the UAE.
Surrounded by a paved stadium, 4000 sq.m. Memorial Plaza is a wide circular space. Made of travertine stone shipped from Turkey, the universe can easily accommodate up to 1200 people. Special mention to the central lake. Set on the display of Memorial panels and the Sheikh Zared Grand Mosque, the pool is a popular destination for smartphone and camera operators.
THE HONORABLE PAVILION:
A solid polygon-like structure, the Pavilion of Honor is made up of a circular interior wall covered with more than 2,800 aluminum plates. Made of metal collected in tanks used in working with the UAE army, the plates bear the names of national heroes. The Pavilion focuses on beautiful large glass panels. A pool of water flowing under seven panels enhances its beauty.
The roof itself consists of eight slabs – with eight representing servicemen and women – and seven representing the number of emirates in the country. In addition to the two Quranic verses on the inner wall and at the entrance, other inscriptions in the Pavilion include a Guarantee of the UAE Armed Forces inscribed on glass panels. The words are engraved on aluminum tablets to remember the fallen. Examples include soldiers who died fighting in 1971 and those who lost their lives fighting in Yemen.
To be accessible to the public, the Wahat Al Karama Visitor’s Center is specially designed for the public. The center presents a parallel visitor experience that tells the story of South African heroes and the story of the Memorial itself. Another point of interest is the roof. Giving access to visitors, the roof offers a better view of the site, mosque, and Sheikh Zared Bridge located at a great distance.
Wahat Al Karama is located between the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the UAE General Head of Armed Forces.