Abu Dhabi’s rich military history will be brought to life at a major new exhibition launching this week.
The Trucial Scouts: Life and Times, which has been organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, will honour the humanitarian work of the brigade, which laid firm foundations for the creation of the UAE Armed Forces.
The exhibition, which kicks off on November and will run until April 28 at the landmark Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain, will take history enthusiasts on a journey back in time, with 32 artefacts from the scouts’ military lives on display dating back to the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, including their uniforms and utensils and the weapons they carried.
As well as providing a vital line of defence for the nation, the brigade carried out critical tasks including the provision of medical aid to remote desert areas as well as contributing to the drilling and maintenance of wells and essential water sources.
The exhibition will chronicle how Al Jahili Fort became the home of the Trucial Scouts brigade in 1955 and was adapted for military use, with many of the changes introduced preserved to this day.
His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “The Trucial Scouts brigade played an integral role in the protection and development of the Emirate and of Al Ain in particular. The Department is proud to support this significant exhibition, which celebrates the efforts of the members of the armed forces before the Union of the Emirates, and highlights the sacrifices made by members of the military in the defence of our homeland and their contribution to the development of the community.”
Colonel Dr. Saeed Hamad Saeed Al Kalbani, Director of the Museum & Military History Center, said: “It is important for current and future generations to document and chronicle the battles and victories of the armies, but it is also important to highlight the humanitarian work undertaken by the members of the Trucial Scouts.
“The exhibition charts the Trucial Scout’s key task of protection and defence despite difficult terrain, living conditions and modest equipment. It also highlights the contribution made by the first generation of armed forces to the field of social and cultural services.
“In 1957, the military played a prominent role in the official celebrations of the Union which had royalty, presidents, and high-profile guests in attendance. The Trucial Scouts were also critical in the provision of medical aid provided to remote desert areas, as well as contributing to the drilling and maintenance of wells, and invaluable water sources.”
The free exhibition will open on November 1st at the Fort with a talk at 7:30pm entitled The Trucial Scouts: Recollections featuring retired Major General Sheikh Faisal bin Sultan bin Salem Al Qassimi, Sheikh Faisal bin Sultan bin Salem Al Qassimi, Major General Abdullah Ali Al Kaabi, and Lieutenant Colonel Tim Courtney who will introduce the audience to the history of the Trucial Scouts, and recall their own military memories.