Museum of the Future welcomed by UAE landmarks with special light show

Elaborate projections were showcased on Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Qasr Al Watan and others to mark the museum's opening on February 22

UAE landmarks including Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and Adnoc tower in Abu Dhabi lit up to welcome the Museum of the Future ahead of its February 22 opening. Photo: Museum of the Future
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The UAE's architectural landmarks have welcomed the Museum of the Future ahead of its grand opening on Tuesday.

Last week, the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, was lit up with a special show featuring Arabic calligraphy reflecting the Museum of the Future's exterior, designed by acclaimed Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej.

"Welcoming the most beautiful building on Earth," a message read in Arabic and English.

On Thursday, Expo 2020 Dubai's centrepiece, Al Wasl Dome, also showcased a special projection to mark the coming opening. The 360-degree projection dome is the largest in the world, and has formed the backdrop for many high-profile performances since the fair opened last year.

The message on the dome had a similar message as that on the Burj Khalifa.

On Saturday, the 75-storey corporate headquarters of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the UAE capital, also displayed the same message as well as the date 22-02-22. The 342-metre tower, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, stands out for its design and commitment to sustainable engineering technologies, as well as how its sleek architecture transformed the emirate's skyline.

Then on Sunday, the entire structure of Qasr Al Watan at Abu Dhabi's presidential palace compound was also lit up. The sprawling Palace of the Nation offers visitors an opportunity to explore the history, traditions and journey of the UAE, through a vast collection of cultural artefacts, art and rare manuscripts.

On Monday night, it was the turn of Burj Al Arab, which was earlier this year named one of the most beautiful five-star hotels in the world. The Dubai landmark, which was inaugurated in 1999, continues to be one of the best well-known symbols of the city, something the Museum of the Future is soon set to become.

Award-winning design

Last year, Museum of the Future was named one of the 14 most beautiful museums on the planet in a list compiled by National Geographic magazine. The striking landmark in Downtown Dubai was lauded for its dazzling design and cutting-edge technological innovation.

The museum also won the Tikla International Building Award last year as a unique architectural model. Engineering software company Autodesk described it as one of the most innovative buildings in the world.

Shaun Killa, partner at Killa Design and the architect who designed the museum, says its shape represents "Dubai's perpetual energy and a vision of the future."

Spanning an area of 30,000 square metres, the seven-storey pillarless structure stands 77 metres tall. The stainless steel facade, which extends to more than 17,000 square metres, is illuminated by 14,000 metres of Arabic calligraphy designed by Bin Lahej, based on the poetry of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, about his vision for the city's future.

Translated into English, it says: “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create.”

What's inside the Museum of the Future?

While it is not clear what specific artworks will be inside, the museum will use advanced technology to represent art. Each floor will resemble a futuristic film set, which visitors can explore and interact with.

Three floors of the museum will focus on possible scenarios for outer space resource development, ecosystems and bioengineering, health, wellness and spirituality. Another floor will display near-future technology that address challenges in areas such as health, water, food, transportation and energy.

There is also a dedicated children’s floor, where they can explore and solve challenges “on their way to becoming future heroes”.

Sheikh Mohammed hailed it as the "most beautiful building on earth" when revealing the opening date of Tuesday on Twitter.

Entry to Dubai's Museum of the Future will cost Dh145, with complimentary tickets for children under the age of 3, people of determination and Emiratis aged 60 and older. An annual membership scheme will also be announced soon.

Museum of the Future will be open daily between 10am and 6pm; tickets are available at motf.ae

— This article was first published on February 17, 2022

Updated: February 22, 2022, 9:56 AM