The long-awaited Museum of the Future, described as the most beautiful building in the world, officially opened its doors on February 22 this year. The seven-storey silver ellipse structure takes its visitors on a journey to the year 2071 and invites us to think beyond our present.
The museum includes an immersive theatre and sheds light on the future of space travel and living, health, climate change and ecology.
“The Museum of the Future is a ‘living museum’, constantly adapting and metamorphosing as its very environment drives continual and iterative change to its exhibits and attractions,” Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs and chairman of the Dubai Future Foundation, said at the opening ceremony last Tuesday.
The museum reminds us of the importance of thinking ahead, something that has been deeply ingrained in the mindset of the people from the UAE for centuries. Living in a region with scarce natural resources, our ancestors always planned ahead. They were extremely resourceful and managed to survive and thrive in harsh conditions.
The palm tree, for example, was a plant that provided a livelihood to people in the region and no part of it was wasted. Dates were a source of nutrients, the fronds were used to form roof thatches, the wood was used as construction material and the fibres were used to weave carpets, floor coverings and baskets.
But even though we’ve come a long way from our ancestors' lifestyles, the “always think ahead mentality” is something that is deeply ingrained in us, and has driven us to never rest on our laurels. We can see that constantly reflected in our government’s plans and strategies.
The UAE Centennial Plan 2071, for example, is a long-term plan for the next five decades. One of the plan’s objectives is to invest in future generations by prepping them with the knowledge and skills needed to position the UAE as the best country in the world when it celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2071.
If there is one key lesson that we can take away from the global pandemic, it would be the importance of businesses to plan ahead. The pandemic showed us how businesses that didn’t embrace digital transformation suffered greatly over the past two years. It reminded us that we need to be prepared for the worst.
In business, we are advised to follow successful entrepreneurs and learn how they managed and led their companies. We seek inspiration in the past and are often driven by the journey of star entrepreneurs who have made a difference in the world.
The Museum of the Future invites us to seek inspiration from the future instead and encourages us to dream by imagining a possibility for our businesses. It reminds us that anything is possible.
Who could have thought that one day we could fly by putting on a special suit? Or that skyscrapers would be built amid sand dunes? The UAE is a prime example that if we put our mind to something, we can achieve it.
I invite you to look at the future, too, and be inspired by the possibility of what can be done. Only by daring to think beyond what’s possible, are we able to build thriving businesses and leave a positive impact on the world.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi.