“The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and realise it. It is not something you wait for, but create.” This is one of the three verses that adorn the Museum of the Future, perhaps the most ambitious and fascinating of Dubai’s recently-opened museums.
In this case, the author of the verse written in Arabic calligraphy that decorates the museum’s facade is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
The museum, which opened on Feb. 22, 2022, is his brainchild, and aims to envision how society and mankind could evolve in the coming decades through the impact of science and technology.
The Museum of the Future in Dubai, on the one hand, is a unique architectural work (already listed by National Geographic as one of the 14 most beautiful museums in the world) and, on the other hand, a propeller of ideas that — at least in the Emir’s intentions — could promote a worldwide intellectual movement. It aims to foster the research of Arab personalities who show special talent in key areas deemed important to development.
Innovation in construction techniques
When strolling along Sheikh Zayed Road, one of Dubai‘s main streets, it is impossible to miss the MOFT or “Museum of the Future,” already a major attraction for tourists and travelers to the Emirate.
Standing 77 metres (252 feet) tall and with an overall capacity of 30,548 square metres (329,000 square feet), the building was designed by renowned architectural firm Killa Design and engineered by Buro Happold. The verses imprinted on the exterior in Arabic calligraphy were designed by Emirati artist Mattar bin Lahej.
The architectural design of the building perfectly matches its message: its circular shape represents humanity; the green hill on which it stands represents the earth; and the void created by the building’s ellipse represents the unknown future.
The construction techniques and the materials used are among the most innovative. The facade is made of stainless steel and consists of 1,024 pieces produced by a special robot-led process, covering a total area of 17,600 square metres (189,400 feet). The structure, one of the most complex ever built, has achieved LEED Platinum certification, the highest green rating recognized worldwide.
Smart cities, energy, transportation: what tomorrow will look like in the Museum of Future
“A beacon of hope” is the message launched by the Museum, founded by the Dubai Future Foundation. The slogan is accompanied by a phrase that has become a veritable manifesto: “This is the home of optimistic imagination, committed to creating a more sustainable future for all. Our goal is to inspire and empower people to take a positive approach to the next chapter of humanity.”
Building on this concept, the Museum of the Future’s exhibits all showcase the most innovative solutions on the planet: innovations that can be adopted between now and 2050 to slow climate change; the future of artificial intelligence; what machines can achieve; and always-open workshops dedicated to topics such as smart cities, energy and transportation, public health, and education.
The symbolic date chosen for the Museum’s inauguration
The story of the Dubai Museum of the Future began on March 4, 2015, when, during a government summit, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced his plan to establish a museum entirely dedicated to the future.
A year later, on Feb. 7, 2016, the Sheikh inaugurated the first exhibition created under the “Museum of the Future” umbrella, despite the fact that construction of the structure had not yet begun. That same year he inaugurated the Dubai Future Foundation, which managed the construction of the work. Between 2017 and 2018, the museum opened on a temporary basis, while the official opening of the spectacular Dubai building took place on February 22, 2022 at 7 p.m. The date chosen for its opening is not accidental: 22.02.22 is a palindrome number, meaning it can be read from right to left and left to right. Once again, a message sent to the world: starting from opposite ends, we come to the same understanding.