Zayed had paid a visit to the Vatican over 60 years ago. Photos from that trip have been recently discovered in a personal collection belonging to a Lebanese French family. The black and white photos were taken in 1951 when the UAE Father of the Nation was touring Europe on official business.
In those photos, the older brother of Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan can also been seen. Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan was the Ruler of Abu Dhabi then. The delegation had travelled to Bahrain first from Abu Dhabi and then flew to France. From France, the delegation visited Italy and Turkey followed by Egypt and, finally Lebanon.
According to Rym Tina Ghazal, the photos have captured the timeless and beautiful moments of the incredible European journey by the delegation. The photos show the delegation posing in front of several religious and historical landmarks. Rym Tina Ghazal is the curator and organizer of an exhibition recently organized by the European Delegation to the United Arab Emirates.
The photos mark the first trip to Europe by Sheikh Zayed. The reason behind the trip was to participate in major arbitration hearings, held in Paris, associated with the offshore oil concessions of the Abu Dhabi emirate.
While in France, the delegation took advantage of the opportunity and went for sightseeing including the famed Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on the River Seine banks.
Later during the trip, the delegation also undertook a tour of the Vatican City. They also posed in St Peter’s Square.