A new construction is soon to be adding to Dubai’s cultural offer. The Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Library designed by the Architectural Consulting Group and inspired to the shape of an ‘open book’ on a Rehl, the traditional lectern the Quran sits on, is being built for Dubai Municipality at a cost of Dh1 Billion ($272 Million). The structure is being constructed close to the Dubai Culture Village, says S. A. Miro that is providing structural engineering design services for this new seven-story, one million square feet located in Al Jaddaf and overlooking the Dubai Creek. The MBR complex will house more than 1 million audio books and 2 million e-books, in addition to 4.5 million books for readers of various ages and interests. What’s more, the library will include several areas for interaction, events, activities, educational and cultural festivals. There are even going to be a central warehouse for book storage and a laboratory for preserving books, a media center with audiovisual publications, periodicals and internet services. In addition, the library will feature a private library with a collection of texts on display of the Al Maktoum family—the ruling royal family of Dubai—and a museum of the Arab heritage, as well as a 500-seat theater for lectures and seminars.
Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Library is supposed to be the biggest library and cultural project in the Arab world. Expected completion date of the MBR library is May 2018.
This project aimed to start the ‘Year of Reading.’ The launch of this state-of-the-art library has the purpose to get local booklovers in taking frequent trips to the MBR complex. The facility will be a popular mark on Dubai Tourism map and will boost the educational, societal, and tourism movements posing itself as a ‘hub of knowledge.’
In the meantime, a number of events are preparing the ground for the inauguration. The annual UAE Book Fairs are a way not only to increase library usage but also to encourage a love of books and reading. These community-based literary events promote literacy awareness and give exposure to international authors, as well as motivate and develop aspiring new writers or upstarting publishers.
- Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Dubai, UAE
1 – 10 March
- Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, UAE
25 April – 1 May
- Sharjah International Book Fair, UAE
31 October – 11 November
Be sure to check the event’s website for the latest information. Through these book fairs UAE’s commitment to the literary development of its community is solidified. Surely, a true book-lover will want to attend and not want to miss out on any author presentations; in fact, popular authors often show up to present their books and often offer signing sessions. Participants are also able to participate in panel discussions and workshops aimed at expanding the knowledge of interested readers or meet and hear inspirational local, regional and national writers.
Who should attend? Well, there really is something for all ages and writers, teachers, students, editors, publishers, book lovers and all literary-minded patrons can enjoy the experience. This makes this a day of fun for the entire family!
So, are you ready for a bookish 2018? From the new library to book fairs and festivals there is no way to keep yourself from reading.
And for those that do not know, there’s an e-bookstore Rufoof app launched in UAE that allow users to download, read and upload their own Arabic content, said Shadi Hasan, managing director, Flagship Projects. The app for smart phones and iPads allows users to “go online and view the range of book titles available, then download those they want to their device for reading when they are ready,” says ITP Digital Media Inc., was one of the winners at the World Summit Award Mobile (WSA-Mobile) 2011 competition. Rufoof e-content store application offers thousands of Arabic books and publications in a variety of topics.