Though being just right opposite the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, most Abu Dhabi vistors will likely not make it to Wahat Al Karama – or Oasis of Dignity how the monument is called in English. I felt that this is really bad luck, as there are really multiple reasons to invest some time here. The place is honoring the fallen soliders and all other U.A.E. martyrs who were killed serving their life for the sake of the community.
Wahat Al Karama was my Favorite Outdoor Attraction during 2020.
Wahat Al Karama – Location & Admission
It would likely be most precise to state that Wahat Al Karama is located between the world famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Headquarters of the U.A.E. Armed Forces. As the latter is typically not too much a place of touristic interest, you will find it most easily when you cross the road next to the iconic mosque (Eastbound). As that road is a motorway, there is a passenger footbridge. Parking facilities are located on both sides of the road, on the mosque side (naturally) and also next to the monument and visitor center. You can do both places without changing the parking lot.
The monument and visitor center is open from 09:00 to 22:00 hrs. Admission is free.
Wahat Al Karama – Visitors Center & Exhibition
The Visitor Center is very informative. The first section introduces you to seven virtues, which are especially honored by the memorial and the exhibition. This also includes that you are introduced to some of the martyrs which are honored there. An interactive touchscreen system gives you the stories of all persons honored by Wahat Al Karama. Finally, the first section also tells you by the humanitarian effort performed by the U.A.E, before you head to the next room which tells you a lot about the symbolism used at the memorial park. Thereby, the Visitor Center also uses some really nice Augmented Reality elements. You can also try to rebuilt parts of the memorial on your own.
When you take the typical route through the Visitor Center, you will watch a video about heroism in the U.A.E. and pass the screen for a gallery of paintings and other artwork about that topic.
Wahat Al Karama – Monument & Monument Plaza
From the visitor center, you first pass a minor fountain and then head up to the monument plaza, where also some military parades are taken.
The core part of your outdoor visit is of course the monument itself, which consists of 31 parts. The pledge of allegiance of the Emirati troops is engraved in some of the tiles. From the monument, you head down to the Hall of Remembrance, where the martyrs are honored with personal engravings.
If you happen to be in the area multiple times anyway (for example on your route from city center to Yas Island), I recommend to visit Wahat Al Karama twice, during daytime and in the dark. The illumination of the place is just beautiful and impressive.
Wahat Al Karama – Views of the Grand Mosque
You just cannot argue against it – though Wahat Al Karama is worth to watch and visit just due to what it offers anyway, another huge reason to go there is the magnificent view of the Grand Mosque. Especially the fountain area leads to lovely reflections, which are very popular at photographers during daytime and nighttime.
Wahat Al Karama – My View
I am not at all a military memorial person, but Wahat Al Karama is definitely one of my most favorite places in Abu Dhabi and one of these “Hidden Gems” of the city, which you might not have on top of the list, when you visit the Emirates. I feel you should. The Visitor Center exhibition is very good and the park is lovely. On top of that, you get the fascinating Grand Mosque views. What an impressive place – no doubt it deserves to become a Top Pick!
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No Admission Places
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