Go inside Dubai’s take on the future.
Dubai’s Museum of the Future opened with much fanfare on February 22, making it instantly one of the most iconic museums on the planet with its distinctive donut shape, calligraphy-etched exterior, and world-class attractions and exhibits.
What is it?
“The Museum of the Future welcomes people of all ages to see, touch, and shape our shared future. Go on a journey through possible futures and bring hope and knowledge back to the present,” states the museum’s homepage. This museum aims to bring the future to life and to get the creative wheels of its visitors spinning with ideas of a marvelous tomorrow. Its attractions look at new technologies and new ways of imagining humanity and the future of our world and making it a better place to live.
Dubai, the city of the future
There is perhaps no better place for a museum of the future than Dubai, which has often been dubbed the city of the future. In a construction boom unlike anything the world has seen outside of China, modern Dubai rose up from the desert virtually overnight. And like many new cities, its designers strove for the most futuristic architecture and urban design possible. Dubai now has more skyscrapers than any other city on the planet — an ambition that was topped off by the completion of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest building. Dubai also aims to be one of the world’s leading smart and green cities and has made itself a testing ground for new and innovative technologies, such as a potential 740 mph hyperloop, drone taxis, driverless vehicles, and ubiquitous electric cars.
Some could say that Dubai itself is a museum of the future, and you can get here cheaply with flydubai, which has hundreds of flights to Dubai each day.
The Dubai Museum of the Future has been called the most beautiful building on earth by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, and its architecture is unlike any other structure on earth and stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers which surround it. Looking like a giant upright croissant, it’s said that its circular nature represents all of humanity and the hole in the middle is a reminder of the unknown future. The outside of the museum is covered with quotes from Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the calligraphy of Mattar bin Lahej.
A museum in a beautiful building means little if it doesn’t contain impressive collections and exhibits to match. Fortunately, Dubai’s Museum of the Future has an array of world-class attractions.
For example, the Tomorrow Today exhibit aims to “Explore near-future technologies from the world’s leading innovators,” according to the Museum of the Future’s website. Visitors are given a glimpse of what tomorrow could be like and how we could be living in the future. It is an ode to how technology impacts the way that we live and shapes our environment, culture, and politics. It also dives into how technology can be used to solve some of the biggest problems facing our worlds, such as global warming, pollution, waste management, food security, and urban planning. On top of that, tours are led by flying robots.
The Journey to the Future exhibit entices visitors to reimagine the future and open themselves up to the new possibilities that could come. It is a virtual trip to a space station in 2071 where the technology and ways of living are unrecognizable to today’s conditions. Participants learn about how the moon can be used for energy and how space can be a habitat for humanity. A trip back to earth is included where Dubai is a rainforest.
The Vault of Life exhibit is essentially a library of the DNA of all the world’s creatures. Visitors are given an in-depth look at thousands of different species and how they are being threatened by environmental conditions.
The Future Heroes exhibit is where things start to get really fun. This is a wing of the museum that is dedicated to children and the steps they will take to make the world a better place when they grow up. Kids will get to play in an environment where they will participate in missions to solve some of the planet’s biggest problems. When they do they will be rewarded with badges that they can collect on subsequent visits to the museum. The best part is that there are not any screens in this part of the museum, and all interaction will take place in the real world where kids will use their critical thinking skills and work together.
The Digital Amazon exhibit aims to take visitors to places they’ve never been before: the heart of the Amazon rainforest. It mixes real-world elements with the virtual to allow the participant the chance to observe species and insects that they may not have known even existed. The object of this part of the Museum of the Future is to reinforce the fact that our world is full of a diversity of species that we shouldn’t take for granted and do what we can to protect.
Meanwhile, The Center exhibit is an immersive, multisensory dive into the healing properties of nature. It gives visitors the chance to escape a hectic day of travel and meditate on the rhythmic sounds of the natural world. Participants sit within a dome where water flows over illuminated by therapeutic lighting and are given an opportunity to stop for a moment and contemplate life. It is an experience based on finding a healthy balance and understanding your place in the cosmos.
Dubai’s Museum of the Future strives to not only entertain visitors but to teach them about their world, how they can protect it, and the ways that they can make tomorrow a better place. It’s a chance to get away from the mundane aspects of existence and get thinking about your role and responsibility as a member of earth and how you can do your part to make a marvelous future a reality today.
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