About Us

Upon directives of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the National Archives was established in 1968 under the name of “Documents and Research Bureau”, and was affiliated with Al Diwan Al Amiri (Ruler’s Court). Its objectives were defined as collecting documents and information relating to the history and culture of the Arabian Peninsula in general and the United Arab Emirates in particular, 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).

Several Government bodies have administered the National Archives since its inception:
•    Al Diwan Al Amiri of Abu Dhabi (1968-1971).
•    Ministry of Presidential Affairs in Abu Dhabi (1971 to 1975).
•    The UAE President’s Diwan in Abu Dhabi (1975-1978).
•    Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1978-1983).
•    Cultural Foundation (1983-1999).
•    The UAE President’s Diwan in Abu Dhabi (2000-2004).
•    Ministry of Presidential Affairs (2004 to date).

Federal Law No. (7) for 2008 was issued to establish the National Center for Documentation & Research (NCDR) and then Federal Law No. (1) for 2014 was issued to change the name of “National Center for Documentation & Research (NCDR)” to “National Archives”.

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, due to its adoption of the latest technologies available to accomplish its mission. It is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the United Arab Emirates and the largest documentation organization 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, based on which 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.