A museum in Abu Dhabi is slated to take visitors on a 13.8 billion-year journey through time and space. Announced on Wednesday, the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi coming up on Saadiyat Cultural District is set to open at the end of 2025.
Among the highlights is the world-famous ‘Stan’, a mostly complete 39-foot-long (11.7 metres) Tyrannosaurus rex, which is one of the best preserved and most studied fossils of this iconic predator from the Late Cretaceous Period. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, and toured the site.
Known by scientists around the world, years of scientific studies of ‘Stan’ have furthered knowledge of countless aspects of T. rex. The 67-million-year-old dinosaur will be made available for scientific research, and will continue to contribute to education and research globally.
The museum will also feature the Murchison Meteorite specimen, which famously crash-landed in Australia more than 40 years ago. Containing a huge range of organic ‘stardust’ compounds as well as pre-solar grains which formed over 7 billion years ago – long before our current solar system existed – the meteorite provides ancient insight into the very building blocks of life.
A wonder world that educates
Conceived and developed by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in partnership with Miral, the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi will be a scientific research and teaching institution. It will serve as an educational resource for learning about the evolving story of earth.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Natural history has a new home in Abu Dhabi. A new museum which tells the story of our universe through some of the most incredible natural wonders known to mankind. These are awe-inspiring gifts from nature that we are proud to share with the world – unlocking millions of years of knowledge to not only advance scientific discovery but to inspire our children to protect our planet’s future.”
With a focus on immersive displays, curated collections with exceptional specimens, and innovative, interactive mediations, the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi galleries will take visitors on a journey back to the very beginning of time. It will narrate the evolution of the universe, the Earth’s formation, and the history of life – as well as providing a glimpse into the possible future.
Local natural assets of fauna, flora and the geological history of the region will be part of the visitor journey.
In sync with nature
Covering an area of more than 35,000sqm, lead architects Mecanoo designed the museum to resonate with natural rock formations.
“Every element of the design uses geometry as an overriding theme, with pentagonal shapes resembling cellular structures. Also playing an important role in the design are water and vegetation, potent symbols of life in the desert,” the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.
The museum will join the diverse cultural institutions and museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, which include Louvre Abu Dhabi and the upcoming Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.