The Etihad Museum, also known as the Union House, is located in Dubai and serves as a repository for the heritage of the United Arab Emirates. It showcases the social, political, cultural, scientific, and military history of the country. The museum is especially notable for its role in the formation of the UAE as a country, as it houses the site of the historic signing of the UAE Constitution, the raising of the first UAE flag, and the formation of the UAE on 2 December 1971.
Photographing the private collection of UAEs founders in addition to the union’s items at the Etihad Museum poses unique challenges. While the collections are well-preserved due to its relative newness, they are also sensitive to light and environmental factors. As a result, great care must be taken to ensure everything is protected during the photoshoot.
In addition to these technical challenges, the union’s diverse collection – which includes historical documents, photographs, national wear, historical items – demands versatility and adaptability in photography techniques and equipment. Nonetheless, capturing the beauty and cultural significance of these items is a rewarding experience that allows me to tell the story of the UAE through my images.
The Etihad Museum showcases the history and culture of the UAE through its diverse collections. As a professional museum photographer, it is crucial for me to understand the context of the items to accurately capture their essence.
Collaborating with museum personnel and researchers allows me to gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural significance of the collection. Despite the specific challenges, photographing the Etihad Museum presents a unique opportunity to convey the story of the UAE through my images, highlighting the beauty, craftsmanship, and cultural relevance of the artworks and artifacts.
This project was completed in collaboration with Berwaz Media UAE
the valuable artefacts
Museum interiors & Exterior
All images © 2007-2023 George Shahda