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Dubai's $136M Museum of the Future will be full of robots and their inventors

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Dubai continues to treat city planning like a simulation game with the cheats turned on, unveiling its latest architectural wonder: the Museum of the Future. The building is set to open in 2017, and while we're not quite sure how to describe its shape (a lopsided torus? An aerodynamic donut?) it serves an interesting dual purpose as both museum and research lab.

both museum and research lab

The country's ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted that the Museum of the Future will be an "integrated environment empowering creative minds to test, fund and market ideas for futuristic prototypes & services." The $136 million building is being built near Dubai's financial district, just a seven-minute drive from the famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper — the tallest man-made structure in the world.

A concept render of the Museum's interior.

"The Museum of the Future will be an incubator for ideas and real designs, a driver for innovation and a global destination for inventors and entrepreneurs," said Sheikh Mohammed at the unveiling. "The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. Here in the UAE we think differently. While others try to predict the future, we create it."

Sheikh Mohammed should be particularly pleased with the museum's design, as the curved, steel exterior actually incorporates lines from his poetry, claims a report from The Wall Street Journal. If the video render of the museum is to be believed, then the interior hollow of the oval building will also contain some sort of holographic billboard.

The WSJ notes that Dubai is funneling increasing amounts of money into technology innovation, including funding competitions such as "Drones for Good" — a $1 million prize to find humanitarian uses for drones that was won by a collision-proof search-and-rescue model from Switzerland. Having a few of these drones bumping around the interior of the Museum of the Future wouldn't go amiss, but Dubai will need to showcase more than just foreign technology to live up to its grand claims.