“Today we launch a cultural and intellectual edifice for our new generations, through which we aim to promote reading, spread knowledge and support researchers and scientists,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, a new cultural beacon in the region.
Built with an investment of AED1 billion, the library aims to cultivate a culture of reading, while supporting the development of creativity, knowledge and art at both individual and social levels. It will provide a platform for intellectual, literary and imaginative minds across the region and the world.
The library will officially open its doors to the public on Thursday, 16th June.
“Today we launch a cultural and intellectual edifice for our new generations, through which we aim to promote reading, spread knowledge and support researchers and scientists. Our goal is to illuminate the human mind,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“The economy needs knowledge, politics needs wisdom, nations need to learn, and all of that can be found in books. Through this library, we have brought together millions of books to develop our path, consolidate our identity, culture and roots, and create our future,” he added.
The VP has toured various sections and facilities of the new cultural landmark, and reviewed the library’s collection, which will reinforce the UAE’s position as the region’s capital for culture and creativity, and an incubator for intellectual and literary initiatives and projects in the Arab world.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Library aims to help people with various interests, especially youth, to access printed and digital books, in order to shape an Arab generation that understands the role of reading and culture in society’s development.
Across its seven floors, the Mohammed bin Rashid Library features a significant amount of content. This includes more than 1.1 million printed and digital books in Arabic and foreign languages, over six million dissertations, around 73,000 music scores, 75,000 videos, approximately 13,000 articles, and more than 5,000 historical print and digital journals within an archive covering 325 years, along with about 35,000 print and digital newspapers from around the world, and nearly 500 rare collectibles.
“The Mohammed bin Rashid Library is one of the most unique public libraries in the region and across the world,” said Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation.
“It showcases the history and culture of the UAE and the Arab world, adding a new dimension to the UAE’s knowledge-based economy, helping to redefine the concept of libraries in the 21st-century, setting future trends for the next-generation of technology-augmented libraries.”
The library is part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI). It has been designed in the form of a wooden stand known as a ‘Rahl’, with a total area of 581,903 square feet (54,000 square metres), creating a stimulating environment that advances the cultural and creative landscape in the country and providing access for all social segments, including youth, children, government and private institutions, writers, researchers, thinkers and artists. It also welcomes readers and literary and intellectual personalities from the region and the world.
The library has nine specialised libraries including The General Library, The Emirates Library, The Young Adults Library, The Children’s Library, The Special Collection Library, The Maps and Atlases Library, The Media and Arts Library, The Business Library and The Periodical Library. In addition to paperback books, the library provides access to a wide range of e-books and other digital media, and access to millions of books, information sources and pieces of content from around the world.
The library’s facilities, which use the latest technology and artificial intelligence (AI), include an automated storage and electronic book retrieval system, self-service kiosks, a book digitisation laboratory, and smart robots to respond to visitors’ inquiries, in addition to augmented and virtual reality technologies, among others.
It is also an environmentally friendly library that has adopted the highest standards of sustainability, as it gets 10 percent of its energy from solar panels installed on the roof of the building. The external structure is designed to insulate the building’s interior, reduce heat gain, and help regulate the building’s internal environment.
The library, which is strategically located in the centre of the city, has natural lighting thanks to the ceiling windows in the building, and is designed to reduce water consumption by 50 percent. Water is recycled from air conditioners to irrigate green spaces.