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National Geographic to air Zayed Mosque documentary

Abu Dhabi, March 23, 2010

The National Geographic Abu Dhabi channel will run an one-hour documentary on Friday about the construction of the historic 'Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Grand Mosque' located in Abu Dhabi.

National Geographic Abu Dhabi, the first free-to-air International factual entertainment channel in Arabic, is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) and National Geographic Channels International (NGCI).

The World Television Premiere of The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque documentary will be held for the viewers of Middle East and North Africa at 9pm on March 26, said a ADMC statement.

'They will have the privilege of watching the episode before the rest of the world, exclusively on National Geographic Abu Dhabi. The programme will be simulcast on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat channel.'

This documentary is part of Abu Dhabi Media Company’s commitment to bring viewers in the region leading entertainment and information in Arabic, while contributing to a better understanding of not just the world we inhabit but also the heritage and achievements of our own region, said top official.

'The documentary also helps showcase this beautiful landmark and Abu Dhabi’s achievements in culture and architecture,' said Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, chairman of ADMC.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was the vision of the former UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who passed away in November 2004.

Though he did not live to see its completion, he was laid to rest in a courtyard adjacent to his beloved mosque. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world.

For over 12 years, more than 2500 people worked tirelessly on a project that has become a national icon. The construction of the mosque was a huge multi-national undertaking and the final result is nothing short of spectacular – not only in sheer size, but also in architectural and creative beauty, he stated.

Rohit Dsilva, general manager – National Geographic Abu Dhabi, said, 'This unique offering demonstrates the channel’s success in creating local content and taking it to the world, giving people from all over the globe an understanding of the region’s rich culture.'

Following three years of thorough research and film production in harsh desert conditions and filmed during 10 trips to the mosque, the documentary not only features an icon of pride for the region but demonstrates National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s dedication to providing cutting-edge, exclusive content that is relevant to the region’s viewers, as well as being of interest to international viewers.

'We are very pleased to announce the premiere of our first regional documentary within just eight months of the launch of National Geographic Abu Dhabi. What makes this occasion special is that we have the opportunity to showcase it to the region before it is aired anywhere else in the world,' remarked Karim Sarkis, executive director – Broadcast Group, ADMC.

'We have been working hard to deliver on our promise to produce more local programmes for viewers, and the screening of this regional documentary proves our dedication to providing cutting-edge, exclusive content that is relevant to the region’s viewers, as well as being of interest to international viewers,” he added.

The documentary was directed by award-winning Australian director Peter Lamb, who specialises in localised content on the subjects of history and the arts, and has written and directed over 110 local television programmes.

“Recording the construction of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque required patience, tact, perseverance, and the necessity for a high tolerance for heat – but the hard work certainly paid off,' said Lamb on his experience.

'Our personal magic moment came when we first saw the main prayer hall begin to empty of scaffolding and we finally realised just how magnificent it was. It was pure pleasure to document this!,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Mosque | Premiere | Sheikh Zayed | National Geographic Abu Dhabi |

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