Shaped in the form of an open book, Mohamed bin Rashid Library (MBRL), a new architectural marvel in Dubai opened its doors to the public this summer. Located in Al Jaddaf, this seven-story marvel offers spectacular views of the beautiful Creek waters and has turned into a beacon of knowledge and a veritable boon for both youngsters and adults.
The AED 1 billion venue, which took six years to build, was officially inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. Proclaimed as the largest and most technologically advanced library in the entire region with state-of-the-art facilities, it is a must-visit place in the UAE.
Here are jaw-dropping details about the library that are sure to leave you amazed:
The first thing that will catch your attention is the library’s beautiful architecture, modeled after the shape of a book and designed after a rehl. A depiction of Islamic culture, a rehl is an X-shaped wooden stand to hold the Holy Quran open for reading. The insides of the library comprise lofty ceilings that infiltrate natural light within and its wooden paneling renders a warm and inviting look.
Representing no end to learning in life, giant walls stack an impressive collection of 1.1 million books available in various languages. The massive collection is divided over 7 floors in nine thematic libraries. while the ground floor houses general content, the content of books becomes increasingly specialized as you move up the floors. There’s also a private collections library that requires special permission to access this area.
The building is spread over a total area of 54,000 sqm and can host 1,000 visitors at a time. In addition to an outdoor amphitheater, a movie theatre, a literary museum, a conference center and a gift shop there is a two-story cafe for quick bite or drink.
The book section include :
General – Emirates – Young Adults – Children – Private Collections – Maps and Atlases – Media and Arts – Business – Periodicals
Those looking to discover more than books apart from an expansive collection of 1.1 million books and magazines, here’s a list of what you can find:
Watch the Video to take a tour into MBR Library.
Within the eco-friendly building design, several VR and AR technologies giving a completely immersive experience are mainly powered by solar panels. Water recycling facilities are set up to ensure lush green spaces around.
Effortless check-in and check-out are enabled with self-service kiosks while smart shelves enable the return of books without a librarian’s intervention. A predictive recommendation engine suggests readers the books to read as per their area of interests. Then Robotic systems locate and retrieve the books from a huge depository, which are then sent to the users through Telelift Monorail System in less than 10 minutes. Apart from this, interactive reading facilities are installed throughout and all reading tables are fitted with mobile and laptop charging ports.
In the media library, there is an electronic gaming lounge where visitors can watch movies or documentary in a four-seater enclosure. Smart scanners allow students to scan parts of books and resources they require that can be emailed for reference.
This museum contains rarest of the rare books and artifacts that’ll take you back to the sands of history. Its gallery showcases archival artworks and old manuscripts from around the world that include ancient-scripted books, copies of Quranic verses, historical documents and the most expensive pen cases dating back to the 13th century.
Dedicated kids library
Children aged 5 and above are allowed to enter the library. The best part is the presence of a dedicated library meant for only kids which they can enter through a thrilling slide. Colourful carpets, teepee tents and a play area and other fun-related stuff make this one of the most wonderful zone. This offers parents an alluring way to get their young ones to read in a library, after which they’ll sure not want to leave.
Interactive books and stories are available in both Arabic and English. A dedicated section for blind children consist of books published in braille. A sensory pod is also available to accommodate and offer comfort for autistic learners.
Garden of quotes
The library garden opens up to scenic views of the Dubai canal, with Festival City Mall on the other side of the waterway. There’s a colourful display of pillars that feature more than 60 of Sheikh Mohammed’s most inspirational quotes inscribed on them. They are written in different languages including English, Arabic, Spanish, Burmese, Bosnian, Korean, Urdu, Irish and Amharic. This truly reflects how multi-cultural the UAE is.
Entry to Mohamed bin Rashid Library is free, although pre-booking is required on the website. Annual paid membership scheme that allows UAE residents to borrow books for varying periods will be shortly announced on their site.
The library is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 9pm and there’s a nine-story underground free parking area including spots for electric vehicles.
If this article has piqued your interest in visiting the library, there are ample public transport facilities to take you there. The nearest metro station is Al Jaddaf Metro station and a shaded walking path is being built to allow direct access to the venue. You can travel on Bus route C04, which stops at the Creek Metro Station and walk from there.