Housed in an architecturally stunning building adorned with poetic Arabic calligraphy, Dubai’s newly opened Museum of the Future aims to transport visitors to the year 2071 to inspire discussions about the scientific and technological advancement humans might achieve.

While traditional museums showcase the past, the Museum of the Future says in its halls visitors will use their five senses to explore interactive exhibits which will allow them to imagine what vast possibilities the future might hold.

Along with a permanent exhibit, the museum plans to bring together leading scientists in the region to “position 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.”

Exhibits within the Museum of the Future

Nine years in the making, the museum’s permanent exhibits transport visitors to the year 2071 to imagine what advancements in science and technology humans might achieve almost 50 years from now. 

In one exhibit, visitors venture to a space station 600 miles above the earth to imagine how the moon could be transformed to provide renewable energy for the earth. Another spot whisks visitors to a digitally recreated Amazon rainforest where they can observe different species but also take a look at parts of the forest they might not see with their own eyes.

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The museum also hosts a dedicated section for children called Future Heroes. Modeled after video games, children become players in the exhibit, problem-solving to conquer challenges while collecting badges for their achievements.  

Perhaps suspecting that an entire museum dedicated to technological advancement might cause some digital fatigue, one part of the exhibit serves as a sanctuary, allowing visitors to “disconnect from technology and reconnect with mind, body and spirit.”

People tour the 'Museum of The Future'  in Dubai. © Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images

The Museum of the Future’s architecture

Made of stainless steel and glass, the museum itself is an engineering marvel and striking addition to the Dubai skyline.  Each part of its design is a nod to the same scientific innovation it wishes to inspire. 

The building’s round shape hollows in the center, meant to resemble a human eye looking toward the future. The outside of the building consists of 1,024 separate panels, a significant figure as it is the same number of bytes in a kilobyte, the basic unit of digital storage in a computer.

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Each of these panels was also uniquely crafted using algorithms and robots to 3D map more than 14,000 meters of Arabic script. The calligraphy contains three poetic quotes from United Arab Emirates Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 One of the quotes reads “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and execute it. It isn't something you await, but rather create.” 

How to visit the Museum of the Future

The museum is open daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm. You must have a ticket for a timed entry into the museum and those must be booked online in advance. 

The cost is 145 AED (£30/US$40/€36) for adults and children over the age of three. Children younger than three get free entry.

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