History of the Emirates

Stretching back 125,000 years and culminating in the union in 1971, History of the Emirates is a ground-breaking series that profiles the very foundations of the country’s civilizations over five thematic episodes that focus on: society; innovation; trade; belief and unity.

Released : 2019

Runtime : 3 x 60 (English) & 5 x 60 (Arabic)

Broadcaster : National Geographic

Partner : Image Nation Abu Dhabi

History of the Emirates utilizes the latest cutting-edge technology — from CGI to lidar scanning and 360 degree camera work — interwoven with never-before-seen archival footage, to create a program unlike anything created in this region.

The series opens with the UAE’s story 125,000 years ago, following the earliest human migrations out of Africa and the birth of civilizations, as well as the beginning of the majlis system of consultation-driven governance and the UAE’s enduring belief in equality. It goes on to highlight how relentless innovation in fishing, farming and governance has helped the people of the UAE endure one of the world’s harshest climates for millennia. We see how the Emirates has been a focal point for people from across the globe for centuries, from ancient trading routes across Mleiha and Ed Dur to the modern shipping and aerial networks of the UAE. There is exploration into ancient Neolithic burial practices, evidence of snake-cults and sun temple ruins, while archaeological evidence reveals that the people here have always treasured the community above the individual. This demonstrates the UAE’s role as a beacon of peaceful co-existence, looking at the rise of Islam alongside other religious practices, such as the Christian monastery of Sir Bani Yas. The documentary series concludes with the origins and stories of the proud tribes of the nation over the past 200 years, and how they have adapted, evolved and eventually unified to form the United Arab Emirates in 1971.

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