Perched on a grass hill in front of Emirates Towers, the Museum of the Future has been a striking enigma of a building for several years.
As construction progressed and the striking building emerged on this corner of the financial district, the iconic structure captured the minds and hearts of residents and tourists alike. The opening was planned to coincide with Expo 2020; both were delayed due to Covid-19.
The museum finally opened its doors on 22 February 2022; the date having been chosen specifically for its palindrome attributes – 22.2.22.
The unique building was conceptualised by Killa Design, a local architectural firm, in 2015, as the winning entry in the design competition for the museum. Led by Shaun Killa, the firm settled on the geometric shape of an elliptical torus.
The fluidity of the building is in stark contrast to the vertical lines of the towers normally flanking Sheikh Zayed Road. The structure brings together three elements of the grassy hill, the building itself and the void, signifying Earth, humanity and the unknown.
The shape and sheer size of the building make it a marvel to behold, although it had its own set of challenges when it came to construction.
2,400 diagonally intersecting steel beams were used to construct the building frame with over 1,000 panels covering the surface.
Each of those panels are unique, and together they provide the canvas for three quotes by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, who described the museum as “the most beautiful building in the world”.
The stunning Arabic calligraphy script has truly elevated the building to a piece of art as well as functioning as the windows of the building.
The three quotes read:
- “We won’t live for hundreds of years, but we can create something that will last for hundreds of years“
- “The future will be for those who will be able to imagine, design and build it, the future does not wait, the future can be designed and built today”
- “The secret of the renewal of life, the development of civilization and the progress of humanity is in one word: innovation”
It is worth noting that sustainability is central not only to the curated content of the museum, but it is also further reinforced as the building has the highest rating achievable: LEED Platinum.
It is truly a green project with low carbon, low water engineering and integrated solar arrays.
What to expect at Museum of the Future
As you enter the museum, you find yourself in the lobby area on the ground floor, and here you can really appreciate the grandeur of the building.
In this space, you will also find the café on one side and the gift shop on the other. Look out for the robot barista preparing coffee and the captivating robots gliding through the air.
There are seven floors within the museum with galleries on levels one to five. Another engineering feat of dizzying heights is the central, double helix staircase, the tallest in the world, that connects them all.
You will be guided to pick up your ticket in the form of a wristband, which goes on the right arm. The wristband has a small chip, which allows you to interact with installations. You are asked to enter through the barriers and are taken to level five, where your journey begins.
Level 5: OSS Hope
You land on space station, OSS Hope, in 2071 (UAE centenary year). Virtual guide, Aya, will take you through a series of simulations and interactive installations, where you will explore how humans have advanced space technology.
Level 4: Heal Institute
You return to earth and enter the Heal Institute. You will learn about ecosystems in the Amazon, the impact of climate change, and how we build a more sustainable future.
Do ask for a handheld device in the beautiful Vault of Life gallery. The DNA library displays 2,400 species, and the device allows you to learn more about your chosen species.
Level 3: Al Waha Wellness Area
As you enter the third floor, the focus shifts from the sustainability of our natural world to how we sustain and nurture our bodies and mind. The interactive galleries in the Al Waha Wellness Area offer a selection of treatments and therapies, encouraging us to switch off, disconnect and tune into our own personal well-being.
Some of the therapies on offer include Movement therapy, Connection therapy, and Grounding therapy. There is also a room dedicated to meditation.
Level 2: Tomorrow Today
This floor is dedicated to technological advances in the next decade, and the near future. How will technology help solve the challenges of today? Innovation is key to making our world more livable and by extension more sustainable.
Please note that to the rear of this level you will find the entrance to the outside viewing deck, which gives a fantastic view from a unique perspective. Don’t miss this photo opportunity.
Level 1: Future Heroes
This area of the museum is dedicated to children under 10. Here they will be encouraged to explore and play through three experiences: Imagine, Design and Build. Children are engaged via interactive play and can go on missions and earn badges along the way.
Parents and carers are not allowed to enter the main play area, but there are plenty of assistants on hand to help children. You are able to wait in the designated area outside the play area or you can continue to explore the upper galleries.
Planning Your Trip To Museum of the Future
We truly believe that due to the unique nature of the museum’s architecture, this is a stop worthy of any Dubai itinerary.
Entrance to Museum of the Future
Whilst you are not required to book tickets in advance, you are strongly advised to do so. All tickets have a specific time slot and are often sold out several days in advance.
- Tickets cost 145 AED (children under 3 go free)
- People of determination get free entry along with one companion. These tickets cannot be booked in advance but must be collected from the customer service desk on arrival
Visitors are encouraged to come early, however, if you do miss your time slot, the museum will try to accommodate you at another time that same day. Entry at an alternative time slot cannot be guaranteed during busy periods.
Museum of the Future Opening Hours
The museum is open every day of the week between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm
On average visitors spend between two to three hours at the museum.
How to get to Museum of the Future
There are multiple ways to travel to the museum.
- If you are travelling by car, there is parking available with a prebooked ticket. There is also valet parking for an extra charge.
- If you are travelling by taxi, there are drop-off and pick-up points right by the main entrance.
- If you are travelling by public transport, Dubai Metro is connected directly to the museum. Alight at the Emirates Towers Station and follow the signs over the link bridge straight to the museum.
More frequently asked questions about Museum of the Future
No, this is a paid attraction in Dubai costing 145 AED per person. Children under 3 years old and people of determination may enter for free.
Very much so. Although its futuristic design may look other-worldly, visitors can indeed come inside and explore with a pre-booked entrance ticket.
We think so. Beautiful both inside and out, not only does it have wow factor, it takes you on a unique journey to the future. Whilst most museums are all about the fast, it’s a wonderful change of perspective and truly symbolic of the forward-thinking and innovation Dubai is known for. You really won’t find anything like it anywhere else in the world, at present at least!
It’s recommended you put aside at least 1.5 hours to complete your journey, though two to three hours is probably more realistically if you want to fully explore every exhibit.
Designed by architecture firm Killa Design and led by Shaun Killa, the building has already been listed as one of National Geographic’s most beautiful museums
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
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