The decision to build a national museum is always an important milestone for a country. But what if there are two of them? As The National has reported, a new museum will open in Dubai next to Union House, where the treaty establishing the UAE was signed in 1971. And, of course, we will have the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Some might wonder if that is one national museum too many. What purpose, they may ask, will another national museum serve? The answer is simple and can be summed up in the words of Rashad Bukhas, of Dubai Municipality. “It is vital for our coming generations who did not witness the establishment of the country.”
Museums are portals into the past, serving as a people’s institutional memory. A Union Museum does not become less important because there will be the Zayed National. And vice versa. But more to the point, it will give Dubai a cultural dimension that will for ever change the way the world sees it.