AAMC Foundations Division go on a journey through time at the Sheikh Zayed Desert Centre in Al AinTracey Caterine and Mark Harrower
“On land and in the sea, our fore-fathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so because they recognized the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live, and to preserve it for succeeding generations.”
Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan
120 Foundations students from Al Ain Men’s College visited the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre at the Al Ain Zoo this week. The visit was organized as part of HCT Innovation Week.
The SZDLC is an innovative eco-friendly design. The five exhibits cover the past, present, and future of the UAE people and their close relationship with the desert, the sea and wildlife.
We firstly entered the Sheikh Zayed Tribute Hall on the ground floor. Next was Abu Dhabi’s Desert over Time, which featured reconstructed caves that the students enjoyed walking through and examining in great detail. Impressive artifacts and interactive exhibits on display supported students’ learning. After that was Abu Dhabi’s Living World, which highlights efforts to preserve our environment for all of the desert’s living creatures.
The People of the Desert exhibit brought us back to a time long before skyscrapers and shopping malls. The realistic simulated scenes recalled the lives of local people in the past. Finally, the Looking to the Future exhibit highlighted Sheikh Zayed’s convictions regarding sustainability to the forefront. Students were struck by the many awards the centre has earned to date as a unique and innovative new attraction in Al Ain.
Back at college students presented their findings which they had recorded in photo and video format on their phones and tablets. We are thankful to the staff at the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre at the Al Ain Zoo for their supportive cooperation. The Centre is a significant local example of architectural innovation and we greatly enjoyed our visit.