Future gazing

The Museum of the Future in Dubai points allows visitors to look ahead at what is yet to come.

Looking more like a modern art piece than a building, the Museum of the Future in Dubai transports visitors to 2071, and Audi as the exclusive mobility partner is very much parrot of the picture.

18 July, 2022

The Museum of the Future serves as something of an intellectual laboratory

Gazing far into the future, the stunning Museum of the Future in Dubai  – as the name suggests – looks ahead rather than back, transporting visitors forward as far as 2071. The ‘Tomorrow Today’ section is dedicated to the shape and form that mobility might take in years to come. As an exclusive automotive partner to the museum, Audi offers its vision for the future with a permanent exhibition currently showcasing the Audi skysphere concept – a concept vehicle that envisage cars evolving into interactive spaces for immersive experiences.

In this interview, Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, talks to Audi Magazine about the city’s ambitions in shaping the world to come and the part the museum plays in this.

Dubai is synonymous with dreaming big. Since your foundation is at the helm of the new Museum of the Future, how would you define its vision?

Khalfan Belhoul: As a leading centre for emerging industry research and development, Dubai constantly strives to advance knowledge and improve lives. By building on its long-standing reputation for innovation, the emirate’s capital is continually expanding its plans to become the world’s leading smart, sustainable city. The Museum of the Future is further testimony to the city’s ground-breaking vision. By serving as an intellectual laboratory, the museum acts as a beacon of knowledge.

What role does your foundation play?

At the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), our vision is a better future for our region and the world, with Dubai as a hub for innovative solutions serving humanity. The landmark Museum of the Future (MOTF) showcases the foundation’s work in shaping tomorrow’s Dubai with a view to making it one of the world’s foremost cities. Visitors to the museum not only catch a glimpse of a brighter, sustainable future but are also empowered to build it. Part of that is highlighting the power of collaboration between innovators, creators, technologists, scientists and futurists.

Can you describe the Museum of the Future’s main features?

From an architectural point of view, the 77-metre-tall museum, whose seven floors – five of which are dedicated to exhibits – add up to 30,000 square metres of floor space, is a marvel of engineering. The 17,600 square metres of façade are covered with 1,024 stainless steel panels. Thanks to the use of innovative tools and technologies, it redefines contemporary architecture.

What is the meaning behind the Arabic calligraphy incised into the steel façade?

Inspirational quotes by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum decorate the Museum of the Future’s façade. The glass panes fitted into the cut-outs in the steel that form the Arabic calligraphy were manufactured using leading-edge technologies that improve interior lighting quality and thermal insulation. One of the quotes translates as, “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create.” This sums up the Museum of the Future’s ethos.

Inspirational quotes by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum decorate the Museum of the Future’s façade

The MOTF is a living, breathing institution that aims to shape the future rather than merely predict it

Dubai aims to be a leader in mobility by 2030. To what extent does the museum support this vision?

By embracing everything from driverless vehicles and new modes of transport, such as hyperloops, through the AI and big data technologies that facilitate them, to more sustainable mobility in the form of electric and hybrid vehicles, Dubai has become the ultimate destination for shaping the future of mobility worldwide. The MOTF is a living, breathing institution that aims to shape the future rather than merely predict it. That includes designing tomorrow’s transportation solutions and more.

Let’s take a peek into the future. What are you looking forward to most?

As we continue to explore the ever-shifting dynamics of the digital age, I am most excited to see how we can work together in pursuit of a monumental goal, such as global unity. I can imagine that over the next 50 years, we will focus on ways to make inclusivity, togetherness and collaboration an important part of our social fabric. By harnessing transformative disruption, advanced technology, accessibility and the power of robust networks, we can usher in a more connected world.