As I stepped into the awe-inspiring Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai, I felt an overwhelming sense of reverence for the rich tapestry of knowledge and culture woven into its very foundation. I had stepped in the most iconic building that houses more than a million books in different languages, and for me this was a writer’s dream come true. In the heart of Dubai, where tradition meets innovation, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library (MBRL) stands as a beacon of enlightenment and a real-life paradise for book lovers for all age groups. This architectural marvel, shaped like a traditional “rehl,” welcomed me into a world where the past, present, and future converged seamlessly.

History of the iconic library:

Commissioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2016, this cultural haven stands as a testament to the United Arab Emirates’ commitment to spreading education and knowledge. The library, with a staggering cost of AED 1 billion, boasts a total built area of 581,903 square feet, providing a sanctuary for bibliophiles and seekers of wisdom. The MBRL is not merely a repository of books but a grand tapestry of interconnected libraries, each with its unique charm and purpose. From the General Library to the specialized Young Adults and Children’s Libraries, this literary sanctuary caters to the diverse interests of its visitors. The Private Collections Library, Maps and Atlases Library, Media and Arts Library, Business Library, and the Periodical Library complete the ensemble, forming a ‘Library of Libraries’ that captivates the imagination.

Collection of rare books:

One of the library’s crown jewels is the ‘Treasures of The Library’ exhibition, a mesmerizing showcase of rare books, manuscripts, and documents dating back to the 13th century. The collection includes unique copies of the Holy Quran, early print editions of literary classics, and Latin translations from the Islamic Golden Age. Visitors can marvel at historical artifacts like the first edition of Blaeu’s Atlas Maior and Napoleon’s Description de l’Égypte, an 18th-century encyclopedic register of Egyptian history and archaeology. Beyond the enchanting world of books, the library’s outdoor oasis, the Languages Garden, invites visitors to reflect on the wisdom of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Sustainable architecture with modern technology:

Moreover, the library is a shining example of sustainability in architecture. Its eco-friendly design incorporates features such as self-shading, solar panels for energy, and water reuse systems, showcasing a commitment to environmental responsibility. Located centrally within the city, the MBRL beckons not only as a bastion of knowledge but as a conscious contributor to the community. Accessible by public transportation or on foot, the library reduces its environmental footprint, aligning with the visionary leadership’s commitment to a sustainable future. Embracing the future, the library incorporates cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, automated warehousing, electronic retrieval systems, and smart robots to assist visitors. Augmented reality, virtual reality, and other innovations enhance the overall experience, making this library a pioneer in modern information access.

What truly sets the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library apart is its commitment to inclusivity. The library stands as a beacon for people of determination, offering specialized services and features. A dedicated area provides a quiet space for individuals with visual impairments or autism, embodying the library’s strategy to integrate all creative individuals into society.