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Dubai sets a course for the future

Dubai sets a course for the future

Thanks to immersive experiences, the Museum of the Future in Dubai transports visitors to 2071, where they can explore solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. Audi is an exclusive partner on the topic of mobility. In this interview, Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, talks about the city’s ambitions in shaping the world to come and how the museum supports this.

Copy: AUDI AG – Photo: Audi, Museum of the Future, Dubai Reading time: 5 min

The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

The Museum of the Future in Dubai, set against a backdrop of skyscrapers.

Mr. Belhoul, 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?
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.


By collaborating with people from around the world, is the museum pursuing a common global goal?
The Museum of the Future is designed as a nurturing environment. As such, it fosters fresh ideas and perspectives on understanding and shaping the world to come through in-depth dialogue. After all, we can only build a better tomorrow for everyone by working together. It’s up to us as a global community to pull together and create an inclusive future for all.

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.

Portrait of Khalfan Belhoul.
A view inside the spa with vapour pouring from a fountain.
The Audi skysphere concept is on show at the museum.

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.

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.

A view of one of the museum’s exhibition halls, featuring robots.