Dubai to build biggest Dh1 billion library in Arab world
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday launched the Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, slated to be the biggest of its kind in the Arab World.
Shaikh Mohammed noted that “the Arab world is facing a learning gap which explicates the need of projects the size of this historic cultural challenge.”
“We are the leaders of civilisation, duty and culture, and so we need to revive the spirit of learning and curiosity within our culture through innovative initiatives that push our boundaries,” said Shaikh Mohammed at the grand launching event held at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai.
“This is why we decided to start the Year of Reading by launching this state-of-the-art library and to let everyone know that we will transform the UAE into an Arab and global cultural and learning centre while strongly establishing reading as a societal norm.
“We want a dynamic library which will reach you before you reach it, visit you before you visit it, and which encourages you to start reading from childhood, while supporting you as a scientist, researcher or specialist, when older. The library will be a compound for books, a community for readers and writers, and an association for content, culture and thought owners,” Shaikh Mohammed added.
The library, designed in the shape of an open book on a rahle, the Arabic lectern, is set to open next year. It is being built at a cost of Dh1 billion in Al Jaddaf, close to the Dubai Culture Village.
The seven-storey, one million square feet property will house more than 4.5 million books and include several areas for interaction, events, activities, educational and cultural festivals. The library will also host several cultural and cognitive initiatives, such as the Dh2.4 million ‘Arabic Language Award’, launched recently to help people embrace their Arab identity.
There will also be a museum of the Arab heritage and the history of human civilisation as well as venues for arts and literary exhibitions, heritage preservation initiatives and a 500-seat theatre for lectures, seminars and launching of intellectual and cultural initiatives regionally and globally.