Museum of the Future (Dubai)

Museum of the Future

149 AED


3.9/5 Pros

  • Great presentation
  • Interesting observation deck Cons

  • Limited scientific justification
  • Staff does not control unruly visitors
  • Too crowded (at least on the weekend)

The ring-shaped Museum of the Future has quickly become one of the most iconic structures in Dubai. Having opened in February 2022, it still attracts masses of people and you typically need to buy your tickets well in advance. When in Dubai in early February 2024, I finally had the opportunity to visit the museum.

As I remembered a rather recent visit of a similar-themed museum I visited just a little earlier, the Futurium, I decided to make a “review battle” out of it. Today, there will be two separate reviews of these places – but I will finally also give you my thoughts in the second review (of the Futurium), which concept I liked better. Hope you enjoy this – please let me know if I should go for more of these comparisons in the future.


Museum of the Future – Location & Admission

The Museum of the Future is located right East of Sheikh Zayed Rd / E11. It is close to a couple of hotels in the area, including Conrad Dubai, one of my favorite stays in the city. The museum does have its own parking garage (10 AED per hour), which you reach from the Southeast side of the museum. However, you can also very easily use public transport and use a walkway from Emirates Towers metro station.

Currently, the museum is opening from 9:30 to 20:30 daily. The admission is 149 AED, roughly 38 Euro. This is a booking with a fixed time slot. Limited to Visa card holders, you can also buy a Pioneer Pass, which is giving you priority entry without a time slot and valet parking. Time slots are selling out fast – you should typically buy your tickets at least two or three weeks in advance at my time of visiting.



Museum of the Future – The Visit

Of course, you are first of all impressed by the stunning architecture. Also when you enter the building, the spacious reception hall is impressing. I was a bit of earlier than my designated time slot. Nonetheless, the staff told me that I could enter the waiting line already. It took me some 15 minutes to get into the museum, as they just allow a certain amount of people in shifts – and Pioneer Pass guests of course have priority. When I came back from my visit after some 90 minutes (I took a lot of time at some spots), the reception area did not look spacious any much and the waiting line was much longer. Based on my previous experience, I would guess that the waiting time to get in at that point, Sunday noon, was at least an hour, maybe significantly longer.

The story of the museum is told quickly. It takes you to Dubai in the year 2071. You first have a trip from Dubai Spaceport to high above the U.A.E. city. The museum is just about that story – this explicitly means that political issues, also from outside, which might have harmed Dubai, are irrelevant. There are some introductory movies and an elevator-alike ride up to space (of course, it simulates a rocket). In a space station, you learn about which jobs are relevant in some fifty years. With your wristband, you can create your own story by “logging in” to the terminals and displays and choose options which suit you. However, this does not impact your visit too much.


The HEAL Institute

While you do the first stages of your visit in the group you have entered the museum with, you can choose your own speed once you reach the main room of Oribital Space Station (OSS) Hope, how the area is called. You are on the fifth floor of the building now and step by step make your way down to the museum. Each level is representing another area. The next area on the fourth floor is the HEAL Institute, which shall represent the restoring and repairing of life on Earth. However, I felt that this mission does not get too clear. First of all, you have a view how the Museum of the Future is imagining the city of Dubai in fifty years. There is much more mass transit and individual transport with flying vehicles.

This room also illustrates one of the key weak spots of the museum: It does define a vision of the future, the presentation is amazing, but I feel that there could be more scientific background why they feel that this vision is realistic.One of the next room features some sort of virtual life bank. In countless glass artifacts with holograms inside, you find animals as well as plants. This room is likely the favorite of the Instagram-addicted. You just cannot deny that it leads to amazing pictures. A bit of unfortunate – as the rooms thereafter, where the museum presents ideas about growing plants with certain characteristics feels more profound. We have the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard nowadays – why should Dubai with unfortunate climate host a place like that in the future?


Al Waha / Tomorrow, Today

Al Waha means “Oasis” in Arabic. This floor could be the most impressive one of the whole visit. It is about how to improve the senses of people and also how you might treat them in the future for a better life. There are sensory rooms like a soft floor, which is a very interesting experience, or a room which asks you to collaborate with other people. You can also explore ideas about ultrasonic therapy. After all the hassle of queuing, the area has so much potential – unfortunately, the visitors themselves destroy it. I love India – but you just have to clearly state that in a room of silence, where you can lay down and enjoy a sound and light show, you just cannot enjoy a few seconds without an expat from these region shouting around to a family member, where there might be the next free spot. The staff is by far too passive so that I could not get the feeling intended at all.

As the first floor exhibit Future Heroes is explicitly dedicated to kids under the age of 10, the second floor Tomorrow, Today is the last one which you typically visit as an adult. Due to the industry collaborations the museum is driving, this part of the museum is the only one with an international touch. One of the highlights is that you can talk with an AI-driven robots. But there are a lot of other visions, e.g. in regards of transportation.


Observation Deck

From this area, you can also take stairs up (or an elevator if you have mobility issues) to the observation platform. It is a rather small platform on the bottom of the ring. As the basis of the museum gives some elevation, you have a nice view of the area around. However, it is also rather limited. Pictures which also feature the unique architecture of the museum are still a really unique opportunity. Thus, the observation deck is very popular among the visitors.


Museum of the Future – Services

The reception staff was really helpful. On ground level, there is a souvenir store, which is partially related to the topic of the museum. You can also buy typical souvenir items, including literature about the United Arab Emirates. In one corner of the reception area, there is also a small cafe, which feels a bit too tiny for the number of visitors. Another store allows you to create a personalized perfume.


Museum of the Future – My View

While most of the reviews are very positive, I struggled with the Museum of the Future in Dubai. The presentation is amazing, starting with the unique architecture. However, it feels like they sell far too many tickets. I would also love to have more scientific background to the vision the Museum is presenting. Last, but not least, areas like Al Waha need stricter staff, so that a few visitors do not destroy the experience for the remaining ones.


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