Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed Inaugurates ‘Behind the Veil’, an Exhibition of Photographs of the Al Maktoum Family’s Wedding in 1971

Exhibition marks opening of Empty Quarter Gallery at DIFC Gate Village

Under the Patronage of HH Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Jumaa Al Maktoum, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; HH Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum today inaugurated ‘Behind the Veil’ an exclusive showing of photographs and rare film footage of the Al Maktoum family’s wedding, which took place in 1971. 

The unique exhibition marked the official opening of the Empty Quarter Gallery at the DIFC Gate Village. Supported by the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the event was attended by HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre and Abdulla bin Sougat, CEO of the DIFC Lifestyle Group.

'Behind the Veil' is an exhibition of photographs taken by Dame Eve Arnold, who documented the royal wedding of The Maktoum Family in Dubai in 1971. Film footage and photographs show extensive preparations for the marriage.

Speaking on the significance of the event, Abdulla bin Sougat said: "The opening of The Empty Quarter Gallery with the 'Behind the Veil' exhibition is unique as it is the first time in 40 years that both the film and the images of the historic wedding are seen as a collection.

"The opening of yet another major gallery with a historically unique exhibition at the DIFC Gate Village is a confirmation of the growing profile of the DIFC District as the heart of art in the region," bin Sougat added.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Chief Projects Officer, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: “It is the prime endeavour of the Authority to preserve and showcase the heritage and culture of Dubai, the UAE and the wider Arab World.”

"Behind the Veil is part of our heritage. It celebrates and pays tribute to the culture of our nation. The wedding is a defining moment in our history and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is pleased to support the showcasing of its exclusive content to the world through the rare showing," Al Nabouda added.

The exhibition ‘Behind the Veil: Photographs of Dame Eve Arnold’ documents the wedding of the Al Maktoum family in Dubai back in 1971. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the elaborate preparations for the royal wedding. The Empty Quarter gained unprecedented access to the 16mm film masters.

Curated by David Barenholtz, the exhibition includes portraits of the royal family and scenes of the preparations for the feasts, dancing and celebrations as well as behind-the-scenes events.

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