This week saw Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, a host important officials and the UAE’s press descend upon the Palazzo Versace Hotel to see the announcement of the soon-to-be Mohammed bin Rashid Library.
Emirates Woman also happened to be there, get the full low down below on what to expect when the new library opens.
Where to start? Well, the library is going to be huge. Seriously huge. One million square feet to be exact. The whole thing cost one billion dirhams to build, and will contain upwards of 4.5 million books. The new library, opening down by the Dubai Creek is said to expect upwards of nine million visitors annually, with over 42 million beneficiaries in total.
It wouldn’t be Dubai without breaking a world record or three in the process, which is why the new Mohammed bin Rashid Library is set to be the largest Arab world library, as well as containing the largest audio library in the world for Arabic content. The new library will also be home to the biggest electronic library in the world, which will consist of over one million audio titles and over two million video titles and e-books.
The new library also seeks to print and distribute over 10 million books within the next few years, and it will also see the translation of 25,000 texts from other languages into Arabic.
The library, architecturally designed after the traditional lectern, will also contain various special venues for hosting events, as well as a section dedicated to real historical belongings alongside galleries and exhibition spaces.
Sheikh Mohammed declared the year of 2016 ‘the year of reading’, which resonated with one of the lines from the launch presentation, which said, “The importance of the book has deteriorated over recent times, and consequently so did culture.” Sheikh Mohammed has also expressed how with the opening of the new library, he wants to make reading a more common practice among all Emiratis and residents of Dubai.
Aside from the main library, the Mohammed bin Rashid library will be organised into eight smaller, specialised libraries depending on what you’re looking for.
The eight different sub-sections are as follows:
Children’s Library – Will include a reading area and play area as well as spaces for teaching arts and crafts skills.
Youth Library – Contains books for young people, advanced tech, simulation apps and cultural group activities.
Family Library – Books aimed towards parents and families, and how to raise their children.
Business Library – Will contain Kkey journals, technical articles an experimental laboratory, workspaces and a presentation hall.
Arabic Library – An abundance of Arabic publications, pieces from ancient Arab scholars, seminars and cultural group discussions.
International Library – Books covering a wide range of different civilisations and cultures from around the world.
Popular Library – Both electronic and printed newspapers, books, magazines and journals.
Multimedia Library – A media center, virtual reality areas, 3D printers and audiovisual content development spaces.
Construction is set to begin in June, with a specific launch date not yet set. All we know is, we’re definitely excited for it.