Looking at it peeking through the Dubai skyline, it feels clear that the Museum of the Future was not designed to be subtle; rather, it was designed to celebrate and shout about human achievement and the innovation that guides humankind into the future. Housed in a suitably eye-catching building, rounded, gleaming and adorned with Arabic calligraphic inscriptions, this new cultural destination in the UAE turns the idea of a museum on its head. Instead of being a home for historical artefacts, it is an experimental space, hailed as a hub to inspire the future of humanity. The brainchild of the Dubai Future Foundation and architect Shaun Killa of Killa Design, the project will house a permanent exhibition of human technology and creative thinking; and it opens its doors to the public today (22 February 2022). 

The building was conceived by Killa ‘as an architectural and cultural icon’, and it’s true that its striking, shimmering volume is as memorable as it is dramatic. The architect composed its flowing form using computer-aided design, harnessing state-of-the-art technology in volume shaping and futuristic visions of architecture to achieve his goal. The result is an impressive 77m high, seven-storey toroidal structure built without using a single column. 

Museum of the Future

dubai shot with orange tones in the dusk

The glistening structure is clad in stainless steel panels manufactured by robots that produced the pattern that makes up its skin – lines of Arabic calligraphy representing three quotes on the future by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. These say: ‘We may not live for hundreds of years, but the products of our creativity can leave a legacy long after we are gone’; ‘The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create’; and ‘Innovation is not an intellectual luxury. It is the secret behind the evolution and rejuvenation of nations and peoples’.

Made using technologically advanced building methods, the Museum of the Future also employs modern sustainable architecture strategies, such as solar power (the structure is powered through its own dedicated solar park). Inside, a multipurpose hall sits at the core of the building, surrounded by further spaces including a lecture hall, innovation laboratories for health, education, smart cities, energy and transportation, and permanent exhibition areas. 

‘The Museum of the Future is a “living museum”, constantly adapting and metamorphosing as its very environment drives continual and iterative change to its exhibits and attractions,’ says Mohammed Al Gergawi, UAE minister for cabinet affairs and chairman of the Dubai Future Foundation. ‘The museum brings together futurists, thinkers, innovators and the public in a testbed of ideas that define the world of the future and shape the way we interact with our world to come.’ §

hero shot of twisted dubai museum
ground level with water element at dubai’s Future museum
white twisted staircase in Dubai museum
interior at dubai’s new future-focused museum