The UAE has undergone an extraordinary metamorphosis in the few short years since the state was established. Today Emiratis of all ages have access to all the benefits of a modern, developed society. But there is also an awareness that the history, culture, values and traditions of past generations are the foundations on which the modern state is built. Both government and people are determined that their heritage will be preserved, in line with the late Sheikh Zayed's belief that 'a people that knows not its past can have neither a present nor a future'. Local museums and traditional heritage centres throughout the emirates help to introduce this heritage to younger generations and to visitors to the country. At the same time, the UAE, capitalising on its strategic geographical position between East and West and its open, tolerant perspective, is establishing a wide range of new museums and creative centres, many of which are universal in nature. In addition to encouraging creativity in the community, these new museums help to bridge cultures and advance dialogue between civilisations.
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