Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated a bookstand-shaped library that cost Dh1 billion ($272.3 million) to build.
He toured the library on Monday.
Spread across seven floors, the Mohammed bin Rashid Library has nine specialised libraries with more than a million print and digital books.
The nine libraries are: the General Library; the Emirates Library; the Young Adults Library; the Children’s Library; the Special Collection Library; the Maps and Atlases Library; the Media and Arts Library; the Business Library and the Periodical Library.
It also has more than six million research articles, 73,000 music scores, 75,000 videos, nearly 13,000 articles, and more than 5,000 historical print and digital journals. There are also about 35,000 print and digital newspapers from around the world.
The library is in Al Jaddaf and will officially open its doors to the public on Thursday.
The building been designed in the form of a wooden stand known as a ‘rahl’, with a total area of 54,000 square metres.
“Today we launch a cultural and intellectual edifice for our new generations, through which we aim to promote reading, spread knowledge and support researchers and scientists," Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.
"The economy needs knowledge, politics needs wisdom, and nations need knowledge, and all of that can be found in books."
The library will use the latest technology and artificial intelligence, including automated storage and an electronic book retrieval system, self-service kiosks, a book digitisation laboratory, and smart robots to respond to visitors’ inquiries.
It is also an environmentally friendly library, getting 10 per cent of its energy from solar panels installed on the roof.
The external structure is designed to insulate the building’s interior, reduce heat gain and help regulate the internal environment.
The ceiling windows allow natural light in, and the shape is designed to reduce water consumption by 50 per cent. Water is recycled from air conditioners to irrigate green spaces.
The inauguration was attended by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council; Mohammed Al Gergawi, Secretary General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives; Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, as well as several ministers and senior officers.