A History of the World in 100 Objects at Manarat Al Saadiyat

A History of the World in 100 Objects at Manarat Al Saadiyat

Zayed National Museum

Treasures of the Worlds Cultures, Manarat Al Saadiyat. Courtesy of Daniel Spousa.

April 9, 2014

A History of the World in 100 Objects
23 April–1 August 2014

Manarat Al Saadiyat
Saadiyat Island
United Arab Emirates


Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) to exhibit 100 of the world’s most historically compelling objects for 100 days within the Saadiyat Cultural District

Offering a glimpse of the eagerly anticipated Zayed National Museum, TCA Abu Dhabi has collaborated with the British Museum to present A History of the World in 100 Objects; an inspiring exhibition that captures both the history of the world and the significant role the Middle East has played within it, through a vivid display of compelling objects. Third in a series of major exhibitions leading to the opening of Zayed National Museum in 2016, this exhibition will be held at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Cultural District from the 23 April to 1 August, a period of 100 days.

The first time the popular BBC series has been shown as an exhibition, A History of the World in 100 Objects features personal objects, such as the Chinese Jade Hair Ornament (dated c.3500 BCE), whilst also showcasing other objects that were made for whole communities to use, including the Bird-shaped Pestle from Papua New Guinea (dated 6000–2000 BCE). Objects such as the Hebrew Astrolabe (dated 1345–1355 CE) from Spain, were designed to advance human understanding of the world around us, whilst others represent the surviving relics of lost civilisations, such as the Mexican Huastec Sculpture (900–1521 CE). Allowing visitors to travel back in time and across the globe, people can explore how humans have shaped the world, and been shaped by it.

In line with some of the themes that will define Zayed National Museum, such as faith and Islam, people and heritage, and science and learning, this exhibition will help visitors discover more about humanity and the progress of human life. 

The exhibition also explores several important objects from the Middle East and the UAE; elements from cattle farming in Northern Iraq in 5600–5200 BCE, an object from the famous Ancient Middle Eastern city of Ur; another that demonstrates the spread of Islam in the 7th Century and finally a modern foot-controlled car invented by Emirati students that changed lives of disabled drivers.

Running alongside the exhibition will be a full public program of workshops, tours and seminars including an opening panel titled “Unlocking Objects” with Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum on 22 April at 6:30pm. 

For further details, please visit www.saadiyatculturaldistrict.ae or contact Emma Cantwell: 
T +971 2 6981847 / ecantwell [​at​] tcaabudhabi.ae

About Zayed National Museum: the home of Emirati identity
Located in a dramatic new building at the centre of the Saadiyat Cultural District, and commanding views of Abu Dhabi and the Gulf beyond, Zayed National Museum will establish a national museum in the UAE. The museum will celebrate the unification of the Emirates and their transformation into a modern nation under Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004)—the ‘Father of the Nation.’ It will also be a place for the Emirati people to honour their cultural heritage and explore and affirm their identity and the connections they have shared with the wider world for thousands of years. This international centre of teaching and learning will enable visitors to encounter an unparalleled collection of art and artefacts from ancient and living cultures of the UAE, Arabia and the wider Middle East. As the centrepiece of a district devoted to culture, the arts and the finest 21st-century architecture, Zayed National Museum will sit alongside Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and a growing number of arts institutions to form a cultural hub of international significance.


A History of the World in 100 Objects at Manarat Al Saadiyat
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Zayed National Museum
April 9, 2014

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