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'It represents solidarity between people': the UAE's first Buddy Bear is unveiled at Abu Dhabi Mall

Abu Dhabi has its first Buddy Bear. If that sentence means nothing to you, please… bear with me.

First, a bit of history. The Buddy Bear project was conceived in Berlin in 2001, as an art initiative designed to brighten up drab urban spaces. Roughly 350 of these fibreglass sculptures, each one two metres tall and weighing 50kg, were placed around the city. Every bear – the animal on Berlin’s coat of arms – was hand-painted, the vibrant designs promoting peace and openness.

The National


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