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The Museum of the Future

Dubai Museum of the Future is both an advanced smart building and a showcase of the emirate’s plans for the future

Gitex, Gitex Technology Week

Dubai maybe a city of superlative structures, but a building coming up in the city looks set to be more than just another iconic landmark on the skyline, and instead to become a showcase of the emirate’s technology achievements and future ambitions.

The Museum of the Future, situated on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main highway, has been attracting attention as its hoopshaped silhouette has emerged, first in the form of its polyhedral steel skeleton, and more recentlyas its smooth outer façade has been added. Although the building incorporates state of the art engineering and sustainabilitypractices in its construction and operations, the Museum of the Future is intended to go far beyond just being an advancedstructure, to become an integral part of Dubai’s development drive and smart city programs.

The museum is part of the Dubai Future Foundation, which was established by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to lead many of the emirate’s programs to investigate new strategies and technologies for development, and to bring them to fruition. Due for completion in 2020, triggered [the] whole Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Museum story, 

” Belhoul -. “The exhibits on global future challenges, and the level of discussions that happened within that exhibit, led His Highness to decide that we needed to showcase to the world how Dubai foresees the future.”“The story was much bigger than just a small white box, so we decided, let’s do it in a much more iconic, and beautiful way, and create an experience for our guests to Dubai to show them what to expect in the future.”

Since its launch, the Dubai Future Foundation has launched a wide range of initiatives that are intended to discover future technologies and talents, and to incubate them in Dubai for the benefit of all humanity. The projects include Dubai 10X, an initiative to encourage Dubai government entities to embrace disruption and to put the city ten years ahead of other cities; Dubai Future Accelerators, a nine-week innovation program that partners startups directly with government entities to address specific challenges; One Million Arab Coders, that aims to bring free software development training to increase technical capacity in the Arab World; and AREA 2071,

“Without unveiling what is going to be in the museum, the idea is that it is an immersive experience taking our guests through different levels, experiencing the future.”

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation said that the idea for a ‘museum of the future’ came from the World Government Summit (WGS), Dubai’s annual gathering of government leaders. WGS is an international conference that focuses on development issues. A team from the UAE Prime Minister’s Office decided to host an exhibit at the
event which would showcase how Dubai is looking at tackling global development challenges. The exhibit, the first Museum of the Future, was housed in a structure outside of the main conference hall, and affectionately referred to as the ‘small white box’. The temporary museum included visualisations of future solutions to development chalchallenges and acted as a venue for presentations and discussions around the issues for the highlevel attendees.

Local architecture firm, Killa Design developed the design. The final structure is a ‘torus’ a vertically aligned loop with a hole in the centre. The landscaping around the site represents the earth, the round shape humanity and the empty space in the middle represents innovation and the unknown.

A new Dubai icon The construction of the Museum of the Future is one of the most advanced and ambitious designs in a city full of visually-striking buildings. Located adjacent to the Emirates Towers hotel and business complex, which is home to the Dubai Future Foundation, the museum has gradually been taking shape — with its central location and unique look getting a lot of attention from residents and visitors.

“The momentum that we have from the building is worth it. It puts a lot of pressure on us, because every time someone passes by they tell us how beautiful the building looks — which puts pressure on us because we want to meet their expectations,” Belhoul. The building was designed by Dubai-based architecture practice Killa Design, while Dutch firm.

The final structure will be a ‘torus’, a vertically aligned loop with a hole in the centre. The landscaping around the building
represents the earth, the round shape represents the humanity, while the empty space represents innovation and the unknown. The complicated construction utilises the latest building information modelling (BIM) and 3D modelling software to realise the geometric skeleton required for such a shape. The frame of the building is created from steel, arranged in triangular forms, which has gone up first, and already become something of a landmark in its own right.

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