Dubai's Museum of the Future has been hailed a major global attraction – before it has even opened its doors to the public.
It was named one of the 14 most beautiful museums on the planet in a list compiled by National Geographic magazine.
Other eye-catching museums featured included Shanghai Museum of Astronomy in China, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the US capital, Washington, and the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum in Spain.
The striking landmark in downtown Dubai was lauded for its dazzling design and cutting-edge technological innovation in the rankings.
Construction work on the museum is approaching its final stages, although a firm opening date for the venue is still to be announced.
“The emirate’s ambitions are reflected in an engineering miracle like Dubai's Museum of the Future that has been globally recognised as the world’s most beautiful museums even before its completion,” said Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation.
“The museum presents the UAE’s and the world’s gateway to the future with its design and latest technologies.
“The engineering icon positions Dubai as a testbed for emerging technologies and an exploration base for talents, inventors and creative professionals from all over the world to unravel the greatest challenges that will shape the future of humanity,” said Mr Al Gergawi.
“Once complete, the museum will give visitors a glimpse 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 over 17,000 square metres, is illuminated by 14,000 metres of Arabic calligraphy designed by the Emirati artist Mattar bin Lahej.
Two bridges link to the museum. The first extends to Jumeirah Emirates Towers, with a length of 69 metres, while the second links it to the Emirates Towers metro station, at a length of 212 metres.
The facade consists of 1,024 plates manufactured entirely by robots in a first-of-its-kind venture in the Middle East. Each plate consists of four layers, with each layer created through a 16-step process, said officials.
Dubai's Museum of the Future will be powered by 4,000 megawatts of solar energy produced by a station connected to the building.
A park surrounding the museum contains 80 species of plants and is equipped with a state-of-the-art intelligent and automatic irrigation system.
The building was designed by Shaun Killa, design partner of Killa Design.
The striking venue has already won the Tikla International Building Award as a unique architectural model.
Design and engineering software company Autodesk described the museum as one of the most innovative buildings in the world.