On June 16, 2022, the Mohammad bin Rashid Library welcomed its curious readers inside its beautiful walls. The shape, resembling a vast open book resting on a conventional wooden platform, demonstrates why Dubai is known as a haven of architectural wonders. This paradise for book lovers is situated in the Al Jaddaf neighbourhood overlooking the picturesque waters of Dubai Creek. It covers a massive 54,000 square metres of area, accommodating 1,000 guests all at once.
The library, which cost about Dh1 billion (USD 272.3 million), joins the club of top-notch book repositories alongside libraries like the British Library in London and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. The library is named after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, who announced the new library’s construction in 2016. The 54,000-square-metre building has more than 1.1 million print and digital books, and it aims to draw in those who value culture above consumption.
The library’s design took inspiration from the shape of a lectern, often known as a Qur’an stand. The primary facilities of this library will include a conference centre, exhibition areas, a children’s library, a bookshop on the ground level, reading rooms, service facilities, a business library, and training facilities. Around a thousand vehicles will be able to park in the library’s basement.
The library’s complete collection cannot be explored in a single visit. The building has a total floor space of 54,000 square metres with more than 1 million books in various languages available. The enormous collection is split across nine libraries on seven floors:
For those seeking more than just books, here’s a list of things that you may find there:
The library houses eight specialised collections, including an information centre, a media centre, an Arabic library, an international library, a public library, a business library, a youth library, a children’s library, a family library, and a reading area. The library will also have a dedicated collection for the Al Maktoum Collection and a facility for conserving and preserving books, manuscripts, and documents. Along with a permanent art gallery, the library is anticipated to offer over 100 cultural and intellectual events annually. People can embrace their Arab identity through heritage preservation activities by having both an Arab Heritage Museum and a Museum of Civilization. The library features a 500-seat theatre for lectures and seminars to promote regional and global intellectual and cultural activities.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Library uses the latest technology and artificial intelligence (AI) systems for research, learning, and information. Visitors can have the ideal experience using cutting-edge technology, such as virtual reality (VR), automated storage, self-service kiosks, a book digitization lab, smart robots that respond to visitor questions, and other innovative technologies.
Monday to Saturday (excluding Friday): 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 2 to 9 p.m.
Sundays are closed.
The library is accessible to the public for free, but visitors must first register at https://mbrl.ae/ or download the app to book in advance.
Note: Children under five aren’t allowed inside, but those five and older are welcome, and there is even a special library with an indoor slide just for them. This contains a sizable area with books written in Braille and devoted to blind children. A sensory pod is also accessible for individuals with autism.