AL AIN, 6th November, 2016 (WAM)–Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, attended the Prince Agha Khan Award for Engineering and Architecture ceremony, which was held on Sunday evening, at Jahili Fort in Al Ain.

The ceremony was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region; H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Under-Secretary of the Ruler’s Representative Court in the Eastern Region; Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Hussein bin Ibrahim Al Hamadi, Minister of Education; Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development; Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr; Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director-General of Dubai Protocol and Hospitality Department, along with a number of elders and cultural leaders in the state and about 500 personalities from around the world.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and the audience listened to the speech of the founder of the award Prince Aga Khan, who thanked the UAE leadership, government and people for hosting the award ceremony in Jahili Fort.

Prince Agha Khan thanked the organising committee for the selection of this heritage and historical landmark. He referred to the role of the UAE and its leadership in supporting and encouraging the authentic heritage, especially the Islamic architecture.

Sheikh Mohammed watched the documentary film about the award founded in 1977. It aims to honour the owners of creative ideas and special pilot projects in the field of Architecture, construction, with the aim to serve humanity. A US$1million award is celebrated in every three years and it is one of the largest awards in the world in the field of engineering and architecture.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid flanked by Prince Aga Khan presented the appreciation certificates to six winners out of 19 candidates for the prize. The event was attended by about 500 cultural, artistic and economic personalities from various countries.

The winning projects included Bait Raouf Mosque and Friendship Project Centre in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, Super Clean Park in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, Nature Pedestrian Bridge in the Iranian capital, Tehran, Issam Fares Institute project in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and Small Yuan’er Library in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Sheikh Mohammed congratulated the winners including engineers, masons, technicians and consultants involved in the implementation of these unique projects in terms of designs. He also thanked Prince Aga Khan and his team for choosing the Jahili Fort to host this great event, held for the first time in an Arab country.

He noted the choice reflects the fort’s historical and architectural importance, and added that it was a milestone fortress of grandparents in the city of Al Ain, and still remains with its tall walls, buildings and towers to this day, thanks to the wise policy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had been keen to preserve the legacy of the ancestors.

Sheikh Mohammed also referred to the keenness of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to sustain the heritage of the forefathers.

“We want our beloved country to outperform in all arts and be a state of love and peace as well as encourage and spread poetry, literature, sculpture, music, engineering, architecture and other arts that make people happy, serve humanity and converge with the various cultures of the world,” he concluded.