His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, had an interview with CNN concerning the impact by the recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi is already having on the region.
When asked whether the museum will help “fight extremism with art” the Sheikh replied:
“I think the opening of this museum has been a very bad day for extremists, luckily enough for many of us it’s been a wonderful day”
“It has managed to give the people of this region, the countries and leaders of this region some hope”
He also discussed how the museum has been a soft instrument in the UAE’s relationship with France:
“Listening to President Macron describing what kind of a soft instrument our relationship with France could create in the region in terms of a positive ripple effect, made me very proud”
“You look at our relationship with France historically and it was about political or military cooperation or investments. This is a project that is going to go on for at least one more generation and it will touch all Emiratis’. These are the kind of projects that would not only enhance a government to government relationship but also a people to people relationship. Which I think is always far more important.”
When asked what this ‘Universal Museum’ means to him personally the Sheikh explained:
“Most of my generation were the first of their generation to go to school, that is true. This is a country which did not have much resources and to me at 45 years old, I’ve seen what the UAE looked like in the last few decades but I’ve also seen how people were welcoming others”
“Many people who know the UAE do not see this as a surprise. They see it as part of the jigsaw puzzle you are seeing coming up in the Emirates. Just look at our new cabinet having nine females in it, or having the youngest Minister, in charge of youth. All these things are part of what we are trying to aim for here. It’s true it’s about youth and getting the youth involved but it’s also about preserving and protecting and celebrating our culture, celebrating our values and moving forward with it.”
He also spoke about his ambition to make the UAE known for more than just oil:
“In a few years, we are going to have even more cultural centres in the Emirates. In 2020 we are going to have the first World Expo in a Muslim country and that’s a way for the world to recognise the Emirates for what we have accomplished.
“This is only the beginning of a longer voyage that we are aiming to celebrate, the last barrel of oil that we will export.”
Thank you to CNN for sharing this interview.