Published On: February 27, 2022 12:59 PM NPT By: Associated Press

Dubai’s new Museum of the Future envisions a healthy planet

Dubai’s new Museum of the Future envisions a healthy planet


Dubai will open the doors Friday to an architecturally stunning building housing the new Museum of the Future, a seven-story structure that envisions a dreamlike world powered by solar energy and the Gulf Arab state’s frenetic quest to develop.

The torus-shaped museum is a design marvel that forgoes support columns, relying instead on a network of diagonal beams. It is enveloped in windows carved by Arabic calligraphy, adding another eye-popping design element to Dubai’s piercingly modern skyline that shimmers with the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa.

The Museum of the Future projects Dubai’s ambitions and its desire to be seen as a modern, inclusive city even as its political system remains rooted in hereditary rule and hard limits exist on the types of expression permitted. It is the latest in a stream of feats for Dubai, which is the first country in the Middle East to host the World’s Fair.

The museum envisions what the world could look like 50 years from today. It’s a vision that crystalizes the United Arab Emirates’ own 50-year transformation from a pearl-diving backwater to a global interconnected hub fueled by oil and gas wealth.

“It was an imperative requirement to develop so fast because we needed to catch up with the rest of the world,” said Sarah Al-Amiri, UAE minister of state for advanced technology and chair of the UAE Space Agency. “Prior to 1971, (we had) no basic road networks, no basic education, electricity network and so on.”

The UAE last year announced it would join a growing list of nations cutting greenhouse gas emissions, shifting away at least domestically from the fossil fuels that still drive the Arabian Peninsula’s growth, clout and influence.

However, the museum’s focus on a sustainable future brings to the forefront the inherent tension between the push by Gulf Arab states to keep pumping oil and gas and global pledges to cut down on carbon emissions, including the UAE’s 2050 net-zero pledge.

Moreover, the museum invites visitors to reconnect with their senses and disconnect from their phones, but digital screens and experiences flow throughout its installations. The museum also encourages visitors to think about the planet’s health and biodiversity in a city that celebrates consumption, luxury and consumerism.

Al-Amiri said the museum’s ethos is that the drive toward a sustainable future and healthy planet should not prohibit progress and economic growth.

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