Mohamed Beldjoudi, Director of the Alliance Française Abu Dhabi in UAE (left) with Hatem Nuseibeh, President TOTAL E&P UAE & TOTAL Country Chair in UAE exchanging the documents after signing an MOU agreement in the presents of Mouza Al Dhaheri, Corporate Social Responsibilities Manager and Sultan Al-Hajji, President of the Alliance Française Abu Dhabi in UAE between Alliance Française Abu Dhabi and Total UAE to launch of Micro-Folie project, the first international cultural platform adapted to local demands in Abu Dhabi at the Alliance Francaise office yesterday. Photo Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: Bringing a whole new meaning to visiting a museum, Alliance Francaise UAE will open a digital museum in Abu Dhabi later this month, with artworks from eight different French institutes and museums set to be made available for viewing through a digital experience.

The plans for the digital museum — known as the Micro-Folie project — was made official during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the capital on Sunday between Alliance Francaise and Total UAE, the main official sponsor for the project.

The project currently runs in several cities in France, Belgium, Peru and Romania. Once opened in the UAE, it will only be the second in the Middle East and the first in the Gulf region, with one already operating in Cairo, Egypt.

“We are really happy and proud to be introducing this initiative to Abu Dhabi, where we are merging culture and technology together. With the opening of the digital museum, people who cannot go and visit the actual museums in France will have the museums brought to them here in Abu Dhabi,” said Sultan Al Haji, president of Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi.

The digital museum will operate from the group’s headquarters in Bateen area in the capital from April 25.

“The museum will have 15 tablet devices for visitors which they can share with each other as well. All of the artworks and sculptures from eight different museums in France will be available for viewing on the tablet device as well as a big screen,” he added.

“There will also be three languages to choose from — English, Arabic and French. Visitors will be able to view the artworks and learn all about them, such as the artists behind them, when they were made, their meaning and so on. Visitors can also zoom in on the works paying close attention to detail,” he said.

Al Haji said the group was also planning to have the museum become mobile in the future, visiting different locations in the UAE.

“We want to eventually move the digital museum out and have some kind of truck to transport it around the country, we will call it a mobile museum. We have already approached government entities such as the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development as well as the Ministry of Education for their support.

“Achieving that goal will make this the first mobile moving museum in the world, and so we’re really looking forward to that,” he added.

Al Haji said that it was fitting for the digital museum to be opened during the Year of Tolerance, offering residents a unique platform to engage in cultural understanding.

“The opening of this museum is all about enhancing cultural dialogue. This is a great opportunity for residents to come learn and understand about other peoples and cultures.”

Mouza Al Daheri, Corporate Social Responsibilities manager at Total UAE, said that inviting young students to the digital museum would be among its main goals once up and running.

“As soon as the digital museum is opened, we are going to be reaching out to a lot of schools and universities inviting them to visit, we really want to engage with the younger generation and to create an awareness among them about different cultures.

“Having this digital museum gives us another opportunity in bringing culture to the youth here in the UAE,” she added.