About Us

The National Archives, previously known as the National Center for Documentation and Research (NCDR), was established in 1968, upon directives from the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, originally under the name of the “Documents and Research Bureau" and was affiliated with Al Diwan Al Amiri (the Ruler’s Court).  Its mission was defined as ‘collecting documents and information relating to the history, politics, social life and culture of the gulf region and Arabian Peninsula in general, and in particular those related to Abu Dhabi and the Emirates, from primary sources in Arab and foreign countries’. It has been entrusted with the documentation and translation of these documents. In 1972, its name was changed to the Center for Documentation & Research (CDR) and then, following Federal Decree No. (7) of 2008, it became the National Center for Documentation and Research and then, following Federal Decree No. (1) of 2014, the name was changed to the National Archives. Several Government bodies have administered the National Archives since its inception:  Al Diwan Al Amiri of Abu Dhabi (1968-1971); the Ministry of Presidential Affairs in Abu Dhabi (1971 to 1975); the President’s Diwan (1975-1978); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1978-1983) and the Cultural Foundation (1983-1999).  It was again affiliated to the President’s Diwan and eventually it came under the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (1999 to date).

The National Archives: The Oldest and Richest Archive relating to the Arabian Gulf region

In just over forty years, the National Archives has achieved a pioneer status as the first of its kind in the Middle East and the sixth in the world following its adoption of the latest technologies available to accomplish its mission.  It is one of oldest cultural institutions in United Arab Emirates and the largest documentation center in the Arabian Gulf Region. In addition to its role in documentation and archiving, the National Archives provides intellectuals with a variety of publications that explore both authentic cultural and contemporary issues in history and heritage. The National Archives collects valuable historical material relating to the United Arab Emirates in particular and the Arabian Gulf States in general.  It also documents, indexes and translates the material collected and, based on that, it publishes specialized historical research. Moreover, it hosts and organizes local, regional and international conferences and symposiums in addition to holding related exhibitions both locally and abroad.