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Abu Dhabi is Officially Getting a National History Museum—Here’s Everything to Know About It

Photo: Courtesy of DCT Abu Dhabi

After weeks of speculation, it has been confirmed that Abu Dhabi will have its own National History Museum. The Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi has revealed plans for the new museum in the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island. The project is to be completed by the end of 2025. “Natural history has a new home here in Abu Dhabi and we will tell the story of our universe through some of the most incredible specimens known to mankind,” stated Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT in Abu Dhabi.

Joining its sister institutions, Louvre Abu Dhabi, the upcoming Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and the coming Abrahamic Family House featuring a mosque, a synagogue, and a church in one space, the Natural History Museum will take visitors through a 13.8 billion year journey in time and space. With a goal to educate young minds, the museum, in partnership with Miral, will provide scientific research and teaching on zoology, paleontology, marine biology, molecular research, and earth sciences. Although a place for history, the museum will also look towards the advancement of technologies and innovation of the future.


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The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi will also aim to make a name for itself by focusing on the history of life on Earth from an Arabian perspective, a first in the Middle East. Visitors can expect to be immersed with knowledge on local fauna, flora, and the geological history of the region. To be showcased in the museum is the world-renowned “Stan”, an 11.7-meter tall Tyrannosaurus Rex marked as one of the highly studied fossils of the late Cretaceous period predator that has provided more information into the T-rex and its now 67 million-year-old history. The Murchison meteorite will also be displayed as the shower of stones that fell onto Australia in 1969 and revealed more knowledge on the early solar system.

Photo: Courtesy of DCT Abu Dhabi

“These are rare gifts from nature that we are proud to protect and share with the world, to unlock knowledge and discovery and to inspire the next generation of global advocates responsible for our precious planet,” added Al Mubarak. “Natural history has the power to unite us, and we are fulfilling our vision to not only share our experiences and knowledge with the world, but to continue Abu Dhabi’s mission as a place for research, collaboration and rapidly growing creative industries.”

The architectural design of the museum especially stands out and provides insight into the natural world. Designed by architecture firm Mecanoo, the museum is reflective of natural rock formations. “Every element of the design uses geometry as an overriding theme, with pentagonal shapes resembling cellular structures,” reads the statement from DCT Abu Dhabi. “Also playing an important role in the design are water and vegetation, potent symbols of life in the desert.”

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