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Zayed the First... Memory and Journey premiering Friday on Abu Dhabi Channels

14 March 2018


Dramatic Vision Combined with a Modern Production Framework of Abu Dhabi Media

  • H.E. Dr. Ali Bin Tamim: “The film is the cornerstone for preserving the history of the UAE and documenting achievements.”
  • Abdul Rahman Awadh: “Abu Dhabi Media is dedicated to producing world class art,”
  • 14 directors, 55 producers and 3200 background actors participated in the work that was supervised by the General Manager of Abu Dhabi Media personally


Abu Dhabi Media has announced the premier of their historical film Zayed the First... Memory and Journey on Friday, March 16, 2:30 pm on Abu Dhabi TV Network.

The historical film produced by Abu Dhabi Media and overseen by H.E. Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, General Manager of ADM, presents a dramatic documentary with a contemporary twist offering audiences a comprehensive image of H.H. Sheikh Zayed the First, as one of the most prominent figures that played a pivotal role in building the history of the UAE.

Abu Dhabi TV, Emarat TV and Abu Dhabi Sports will be premiering the film that focuses on the phase where Sheikh Zayed assumes his role as Ruler of Abu Dhabi between 1855 and 1909, highlighting the developments witnessed in the Emirate in various economic, political and developmental fields, thanks to his rare courage, serenity and behavior.

The film will be re-screened on Abu Dhabi TV Friday midnight, March 16 and at 6:00 pm on Saturday March 17. It will also be screened on Emarat TV on Saturday March 17 at 9:00 pm and Tuesday, March 20 at 6:00 pm.


Participants in the preparation of the film 

Filming took place on ‘Hodariyat’ Island, situated in the southwest of the Abu Dhabi Island, where a model of Abu Dhabi in the 19th and 20th centuries was built along with a replica similar to the famous ‘Qasr Al Hosn’ in that period.

Dozens of specialists, experts, technicians and academics, who have a wide range of knowledge on the region’s history and the UAE in particular, carried out preparations, writing, filming and acting.

Among the most prominent researchers involved in preparing the film’s content were Dr. Saif bin Karaz Al Muhairi, Local Content consultant at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi); Dr. Faleh Handal, Researcher in the History and Heritage of the UAE and Gulf at TCA Abu Dhabi; critic, poet and researcher Sultan Al Amimi and Dr. Fatima Al Mazrouei Emirati researcher, critic and author.


The work was carried out by 14 directors, produced by 55 specialists, 30 actors from the UAE, Syria, Iraq and Jordan, along with 450 sailors, 430 horse riders and more than 3,200 background actors.


Preserving the UAE history 

H.E. Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, General Manager of ADM, said: “This historic artwork sets the cornerstone for our mission to support the UAE's history, and reaffirms our national responsibilities towards the history of our homeland and its achievements. It is our responsibility to preserve this historical and media legacy, and strengthen our mission to document our past, present and future.”

H.E. pointed out that this project came within the Company’s continuous keenness to document the UAE’s history and convey it to children and future generations. “This aims to preserve the journey of the forefathers and introduce the challenges endured before the UAE reached its current position,”

H.E. then added: "This historical documentary brings together history, art, media and culture in one work, in a storyline that tells the audience an extraordinary journey that had the greatest impact in paving the way for the UAE’s rise. Many, except those that have sailed through the manuscripts of the past, may not know that details of that era and the early establishment stages.”

Bin Tamim praised the efforts exerted by all the researchers, academics, scientists, intellects, experts and actors to present history in a creative manner that would live up to the tastes and interests of our viewers and meets the aspirations of our audience.


The finest techniques and technical capabilities 

Abdul Rahman Awadh, Executive Director of TV in Abu Dhabi Media, said: "This film supports the vision and strategy of Abu Dhabi Media to provide meaningful and innovative content in an entertaining manner that respects the highest standards of accuracy and reliability,”

Awadh pointed out that Abu Dhabi Media has succeeded through this historical documentary work to incorporate culture and knowledge into an integrated work that meets the public's interests and preferences.

Awadh then stressed that the work and production teams were equipped with the best technical capabilities and skills and expertise that succeeded in producing an outstanding film that supports our strategic mission to lead the media scene in the Arab world.

Awadh concluded: "Abu Dhabi Media has always dedicated its efforts to produce and direct historical programs that reflect reality in a world-class artistic style that tells the story and achievements of Abu Dhabi to the world. This comes in line with our overall strategic vision to provide compelling content that is accessible to the local and regional public.”


 The journey of Zayed the First 

The film focuses on five main stages in the life of H.H. Sheikh Zayed the First. The first stage is that of his childhood and the circumstances surrounding the period before assuming his role as Ruler of Abu Dhabi. The second stage focuses on how the leaders of Bani Yas elected Sheikh Zayed to receive the ruler-ship of Abu Dhabi and the social, political and economic impact of that allegiance.

The third phase focused on the internal establishment phase, consolidating the pillars of the civil society and the economic and educational development and other practices on the path of building the UAE. This led up to the fourth phase, during which the balance and concept of mutual interest between the Emirates began along with the challenges faced by the Founding Father to achieve the unity. The fifth and final stage focused on the ‘Al Khawaneej’ meeting, which drew the first features of uniting the Emirates, and where the wisdom and foresight of Sheikh Zayed the First shined along with the crystallization of his personality and vision to establish the Union. 

The Importance of that Period 

The period in which H.H. Sheikh Zayed assumed the role of Ruler of Abu Dhabi was one of the pivotal historical stages that was accompanied by events that contributed to shaping the political map not only for Abu Dhabi, but for the region as a whole.

During the reign of H.H. Sheikh Zayed the First, a treaty was signed with the British government under which Abu Dhabi became a British protectorate. The treaty remained in effect until the British troops withdrew from the Arabian Gulf in 1971. In 1906, Sheikh Zayed the First at the ‘Al Khawaneej’ meeting with rulers of the other Emirates announced his desire for some form of union among the Emirates; an idea that did not see the light due to the unfavorable circumstances at the time, however planted the first seed to establish a union.