Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed inaugurates $270 mln mega library to foster reading

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Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has launched a new mega library shaped like a bookstand that cost $272 million (Dh1 billion) to build.

The new seven-floor Mohammed bin Rashid Library aims to be a new cultural beacon in the region, state news agency WAM reported, while cultivating a culture of reading.

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum toured the library on Monday and said: “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.

“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.”

The Mohammed bin Rashid Library features 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 library will officially open its doors to the public on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

The new seven-floor Mohammed bin Rashid Library aims to be a new cultural beacon in the region, state news agency WAM reported, while cultivating a culture of reading. (Supplied: WAM)
The new seven-floor Mohammed bin Rashid Library aims to be a new cultural beacon in the region, state news agency WAM reported, while cultivating a culture of reading. (Supplied: WAM)

Mohammed Al Murr, chairman of the board of directors at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, said: “The Mohammed bin Rashid Library is one of the most unique public libraries in the region and across the world.

“This ambitious monument reflects His Highness’s vision and mindset, aimed at enhancing the UAE’s knowledge and culture sector, and building a widely-enlightened and scientifically-rich generation to lead our future and elevate our culture. The library is a significant and inspiring milestone among national initiatives. 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 Mohammed bin Rashid 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 meters).

It aims to create an environment 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 Mohammed bin Rashid Library has nine specialized 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 Mohammed bin Rashid 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 digitization 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, as it gets 10 percent of its energy from solar panels installed on the roof of the building, and is designed to reduce water consumption by 50 percent.

Water is recycled from air conditioners to irrigate green spaces.

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