Dubai: The future has arrived. On 22.2.22 (22 February 2022), the Museum of the Future — dubbed as the “most beautiful building on Earth” and Dubai’s latest iconic landmark officially opened its doors to the world on Tuesday, with a message of hope and to serve as a hub in shaping a better future for mankind.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, alongside senior UAE government officials, formally inaugurated the museum turning on the lights of the 77-metre high pillarless torus-shaped structure sitting atop a green mound, planted with endemic trees and plants, representing the Earth.
“Today, we launched a global landmark- the Museum of the Future- the most beautiful structure in the world and an icon of knowledge. It is designed to foresee the future, and is an incubator of the ideas of our youths. The museum is an institution to entrench our knowledge and an edifice whose impacts will go beyond the UAE and the region for several years to come,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
The future — Dubai is “imagining it, designing it, and executing it”. The city does not wait for the future but is rather “creating it” — as engraved on the façade and illuminated by Arabic calligraphy are the words of wisdom from Sheikh Mohammed that best encapsulate the core message of the museum: “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create,” he added.
Nestled in Dubai’s financial district and beside the iconic driverless metro system along the city’s main arterial highway, the Museum of the Future was built to “provide the largest platform in the region to study, envision and design the future. It is a novel scientific and intellectual centre where the brightest talents in the fields of science, technology, research and innovation will converge to discover solutions to tomorrow’s world.”
The Museum of the Future consists of three main elements: the hill or plateau from which the building rises, the external design of the building, and the exhibition areas of the museum.
The Museum employs the latest technologies in virtual and augmented reality, big data analysis, artificial intelligence and human machine interaction to answer questions related to the future of humanity, cities, societies and life on Earth, as well as to outer space.
The opening ceremony featured several videos, highlighting the concept of the Museum of the Future and the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to transform Dubai into the most developed city in the world.
A message of hope
Sheikh Mohammed said: “The Museum of the Future is a message of hope, a global scientific platform and an integrated institutional framework to shape a better future for all of us.”
“It embodies the active human imagination and the Emirati will that continues to excel the world. The Museum will be a forum for great minds, scientists, thinkers and experts from around the world,” Sheikh Mohammed underlined.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Dubai Future Foundation, added: “The Museum of the Future will be an intellectual laboratory for cities of the future and governments of the future. It will play a key role in strengthening Dubai’s future position. The Museum will provide a clear road map for Dubai’s vital sectors.”
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, noted: “Through the Museum of the Future, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum aims to instutionalise future foresight and explore its opportunities to enhance the nation’s competitiveness.”
He added: “We seek to accelerate the transition towards a knowledge-based economy in the region, and explore practical scientific solutions to the greatest challenges of our times, both today and tomorrow.”
Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Museum of the Future, said: “In its continuously evolving and renewed concept, the Museum of the Future reflects the resilient and agile vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in responding to changes of the future.”
The museum serves a “a global platform for pioneers, innovators and critical thinkers to exchange ideas, concepts and visions to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development and shape a fair future that works for everyone.”
In particular, the Museum of the Future will connect futurists, scientists, technologists and industry leaders by holding regular forums, dialogues, seminars and research sessions throughout the year. The museum will also disseminate knowledge and research that sheds light on the most important scientific discoveries, developments and trends.
Journey to the future
The Dubai Future Foundation earlier described the futuristic museum as a “living laboratory” designed to foster a spirit of collaborative innovation among the Arab world’s leading scientists to come up with new and out-of-the-box solutions to tomorrow’s greatest challenges and spur a new era of scientific discovery in the region and beyond.
The Museum of the Future will take its visitors on an experiential journey that transports them to the year 2071, which coincides with the centenary of the founding of the UAE. “The journey takes visitors from a universal to a personal realm, based on an approach that emphasises the importance of one’s connection to the universe within the framework of a relationship of mutual influence, and promotes the principle of each individual’s role in shaping the future.”
Tradition and innovation
The Museum of the Future is also a symbol of UAE’s rich tradition and its strong drive towards innovation.
The UAE Government Media Office described it as “the spectacular building that speaks Arabic (because of the Arabic calligraphy that wraps it), representing the revival of Arab excellence in the fields of science, mathematics and research, and an appreciation of the past Arab intellectuals that aims at resuming Arab civilisation and renaissance”.
The Museum of the Future visualises the future of humankind, putting emphasis on sustainability and a greener future as can be seen by its pillarless torus-shaped structure sitting atop a green mound, planted with endemic trees and plants, representing the Earth.
The garden reflects the UAE’s natural ecosystem and its drive to protecting and preserving its natural biodiversity. Another striking feature of the museum is the statue showing a three-finger salute, popularised by Sheikh Mohammed, symbolising win, love and victory.
Inhabiting the future
Being a catalyst for pioneering concepts and ideas, the interior of the building is consisting of seven floors dedicated to various subjects, including the future of space travel and living; education, climate change and ecology; as well as health, wellness and spirituality. One floor is dedicated for children, the leaders of tomorrow, where they will be able to explore and solve future challenges.
Each floor at the museum “is like a film set from a future that you can inhabit, explore and interact with. The settings and scenes are both immersive and expansive, designed to expand what the audience thinks possible for the world, for the future and for themselves. Contents were crafted by a team of the world’s leading product, media, exhibition and experience designers, noted the UAE Government Media Office.
Lath Carlson, executive director of the Museum of the Future, earlier said: “Augmented reality, virtual reality and other cutting-edge technologies will take visitors on a journey into the future. We are focused on the human story of the future. We are looking at the big challenges that are going to be facing humanity, and the creative solutions that people might deploy to overcome them.”
From an architectural perspective, the torus-shaped (spherical and cylindrical) museum is an engineering marvel. The museum is considered one of the most complex architectural projects in the world. It was constructed using the “parametric design” model, a three-dimensional technology based on advanced technical design that works by entering data and parameters for the building to be designed.
A total of 1,024 stainless steel panels were used to cover the facade of the museum over an area of 17,600 square meters. The panels were produced using automated robotic arms — the first in the region — with each panel consisting of four layers, and requiring a 16-step process to produce. The installation period for the external facade took more than 18 months.
The facade of the Museum of the Future is illuminated by 14,000 meters of light lines and is decorated with inspirational quotes from Sheikh Mohammed’s poetry in Arabic calligraphy, making it the only building in the world whose entire façade is adorned with calligraphy. Emirati artist Mattar bin Lahej designed the “Thuluth” script, reflecting nobility, originality and permanence.
The museum is fed with 4,000 megawatts of electricity that is produced through solar energy using solar panels connected to the museum.
The interior of the building is consisting of seven floors dedicated to various subjects, including the future of space travel and living; education, climate change and ecology; as well as health, wellness and spirituality. One floor is dedicated for children, the leaders of tomorrow, where they will be able to explore and solve future challenges.
How to get there
The Museum of the Future is right next to Jumeirah Emirates Towers, close to the Dubai International Financial Centre. Taking the Dubai Metro is the easiest and most convenient way to reach the futuristic museum, with Emirates Towers Station on the Red Line being the closest station. There is a bridge that connects the station directly to the museum.
The museum is accessed via two bridges — the first one (69 metres long) extends to Jumeirah Emirates Towers, and the other (212 metres in length) is connected to Emirates Towers Metro Station
Tickets and timings
Entry tickets to the Museum of the Future are available for Dh145. Children under 3 will be offered the child ticket free-of-charge and are welcome to explore the ‘Future Heroes’ area. Complimentary tickets are also available for senior Emirati citizens above the age of 60, people of determination and one accompanying caregiver.
Online bookings should be made before the preferred visiting time as each ticket holder will be allocated a specific time slot during the museum’s opening hours (from 10am to 6pm all week long).
2071 — visitors will be transported to this year, coinciding with the centenary of the founding of the UAE
77 — the height in metres of the architectural marvel that will provide the largest platform in the region to study, envision and design the future
30,000 — square metres total area of the museum
7 — number of floors inside the futuristic museum, designed as a “living laboratory”
1,024 — number of stainless steel panels covering the pillarless structure, over an area of 17,600 square meters.
Each panel is consisting of 4 layers, requiring a 16-step process to produce, and installed for more than 18 months.
2 — number of bridges adjacent to the museum. The first one (69 metres long) extends to Jumeirah Emirates Towers, and the other (212 metres in length) is connected to Emirates Towers Metro Station
4,000 — megawatts of electricity produced through solar energy using solar panels connected to the museum.
14,000 — metres of lights are being used to illuminate the museum, decorated with inspirational quotes from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s poetry in Arabic calligraphy
1,000 — number of people the multi-purpose hall can accommodate; there is also special hall that can accommodate more than 345 people.