The Museum of the Future under construction in front of Emirates Towers on Shaikh Zayed Road. It is scheduled to open in 2019. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Two major projects in Dubai, the Museum of the Future and Mohammad Bin Rashid Library, are progressing fast, with their distinctive shapes now becoming obvious.

The Museum of the Future, coming up in front of Emirates Towers on Shaikh Zayed Road, is oval-shaped with an oval open space in its centre, somewhat similar to an eye or an egg. At the moment, the metal frame can be seen, with interconnected parts taking on the oval design. When completed in 2019, the landmark will have a shiny, smooth exterior, with Arabic writing on it.

The project is an initiative of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced in 2015. Unlike other museums, it will not be home to relics of the past, but rather, as its name suggest, an incubator of innovation — of what future technologies and the lifestyles changed by them may look like.

The building is designed by Killa Design and has caught the attention of press and architects worldwide.

However, the museum is not just a building and the establishment behind it is already active. Earlier this month, the Museum of the Future announced the launch of a new six-week accelerator programme designed to attract technology companies that can provide new solutions for futuristic visitor experiences.

The programme will fly in 15 companies to Dubai, selected from applicants, to demonstrate their technology, develop pilot project proposals and compete for funded projects that could be integrated into the opening of the Museum of the Future.

Meanwhile, motorists driving down Al Khail Road near Business Bay, on the Jaddaf side, can now clearly see a book-shaped structure being built. The unique site is the under-construction Mohammad Bin Rashid Library, a project of Dubai Municipality.

Though it looks like a thick book opened from the middle, it is actually meant to represent a ‘rehl’, the Arabic word for a traditional lectern, a bookstand or bookrest. The rehl carries books in general but more specifically the Quran.

“In the same way, a library carries and preserves the cultural treasures of a nation in the form of literature, periodicals and audiovisual media. In this respect, the architectural concept of the library is based symbolically on the lectern, the rehl, and translates this into a modern 21st century vocabulary,” the municipality says.

True to Dubai’s vision, besides paper books there will be millions of audiovisual materials and e-books in the library, scheduled to open later this year. It is being built for the Mohammad Bin Rashid Library Foundation.

With a total built-up area of 66,000 square metres, the main building will be composed of a basement, ground floor, and seven storeys. There will also be a central warehouse for books, study and conference rooms, a rare books section, and exhibitions.

Museum of the Future

Announced in 2015 by Ruler of Dubai

Unique oval design, with floors being the only horizontal part inside the structure

Currently taking shape in front of Emirates Towers on Shaikh Zayed Road

Set for completion in 2019

Museum will be home to futuristic technologies where visitors can experience them

The building is not finished but the museum establishment is active, launching various programmes

Mohammad Bin Rashid Library

Shaped like a bookrest, the project is coming up in Jaddaf, on Dubai Creek

It will house millions of books, e-books, and audiovisual materials

Slated for completion later this year, the library will have a rare books section

With a total built-up area of 66,000 square metres, the main building will be composed of a basement, ground floor, and seven storeys