UAE, Norway celebrate 40 years of cross-cultural connection

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(Abu Dhabi) – An exhibition titled Norway-UAE: +40 Years of Culture recently opened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with the attendance of Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State and Jens Eikaas, Norwegian Ambassador to the UAE.

The exhibition was previously on display at MESH – The Nordic Creator’s Community in Oslo.

Taking the Norwegian Seamen’s Centre in Dubai as its focal point, the documentary exhibition tells the story of the Norwegian community in the UAE and the cultural ties between the two nations through family photographs, videos, historical documents, art works and archival materials.

The Norwegian Seaman’s Centre, a social, cultural and religious centre which has served the Scandinavian expatriate community in the UAE since 1976, was built on land donated by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai from 1958 – 1990.

When the Centre first opened its doors it was one of the only wooden structures in the Arabian Peninsula. The building was traditionally pre-fabricated in wood in Norway, shipped in pieces to the UAE and constructed in the Oud Metha neighbourhood where it is in operation until today. The stories associated with this site and those of the individuals whose lives it was a part of demonstrates a unique cross-cultural connection between the two countries and the long-standing importance of tolerance, hospitality and diversity in the UAE.