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24/05/2024 | DUBAI

THE NEW OIL IS CULTURE

Posted by: Gisella Borioli in collaboration with A.I.

Not just impossible skyscrapers, international business, extreme luxury, and entertainment for all. Culture is becoming increasingly important in Dubai (and in Abu Dhabi and the Emirates), as if knowledge, learning, and the preservation of traditions are another source of energy to fuel its vision of the future. The incredible Library, the latest stunning and daring work commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and bearing his name, is a monument to the book, to all books, going beyond the world of the internet which leaves little room for other forms of information, and recovering the power, beauty, and depth of books and reading. And it does so in many ways: utilizing the latest technologies, with an infinite archive and a great exhibition that starts from the oldest and rarest manuscripts. Absolutely worth seeing.

   Majestically located along the banks of Dubai Creek, the Mohammed bin Rashid Library stands not only as a center of knowledge but also as a symbol of cultural progress and innovation. Inaugurated in 2022, this impressive structure has quickly become one of the main cultural landmarks of the Middle East, reflecting the vision of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, designed to evoke the image of an open book on a lectern. This symbolic choice represents the opening of knowledge and free access to information, fundamental principles that guide the library's mission. With an area of over 54,000 square meters spread over seven floors, the library is a testament to Dubai's dedication to the promotion of culture and education, with over 4.5 million books, both physical and digital, making it one of the largest collections of knowledge in the region. Its collections cover a wide range of subjects, from science and technology to literature and the arts, offering valuable resources for scholars, students, and casual readers.
   After the iconic architecture as a first approach, the visitor enters large bright spaces lined with books up to the ceiling: the elegance of the furnishings blends with the courtesy of the staff who offer visitors coffee and dates, according to local tradition. The large screen at the entrance follows you and introduces you to the general scenario with the help of augmented reality, while artificial intelligence takes you to explore galactic worlds. On the upper floors, in addition to the numerous reading rooms, there are multifunctional spaces for events, conferences, and exhibitions. A state-of-the-art auditorium hosts presentations, debates, and shows, making the library a vibrant cultural center. The spaces for children and young people are designed to stimulate curiosity and learning through interactive activities and educational programs. In line with Dubai's commitment to innovation, the Mohammed bin Rashid Library integrates advanced technologies to enhance the user experience. Digital cataloging systems, reading stations equipped with tablets, and free Wi-Fi access are just some of the features that make the library accessible and a Global Knowledge Center, but a real cultural exchange center. It regularly organizes international conferences, workshops, and literary festivals that also promote intercultural dialogue and international cooperation. On the top floor, there is an exhibition space that today features an extraordinary and extensive collection of ancient books and rare objects related to writing with a highly impactful display.
   To the skeptics of Dubai, we recommend this visit which opens the mind to the other side of the city of the future and makes many things clear.

Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai. The spectacular exhibition of ancient books
Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai. Augmented reality takes the visitor into space
Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai. Exhibition of cartographic books
Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai. Rare decorative and educational polychrome book

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