Dubai metro stations to have museum make-over

Dubai Metro stations are set to become the site of art museums by 2015.

An initiative launched by Dubai’s ruler His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum will turn Dubai’s metro stations into sites showcasing art. Work on the project is set to start within weeks and will be finished in time for Art Dubai 2015.

Dubai Metro Station in Bersha near Mall of the Emirates. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Dubai Metro Station in Bersha near Mall of the Emirates. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

On 17 March 2014, the United Arab Emirates Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum initiated the Dubai Metro Museum. The project is set to transform Dubai’s Metro network – made up of 48 stations across two lines – into art museums displaying artworks from different cultures and exploring a variety of themes.

Sheikh Mohammed has given directions for construction to start within weeks of the announcement and to be completed in 12 months in time for Art Dubai 2015.

The metro project will benefit from state-of-the-art technology: smart and interactive mobile applications will encourage visitors to interact with the art, in line with the Smart Dubai initiative also recently launched by the Sheikh.

Making art more accessible

The initiative aims at making art more accessible to a wider demographic, providing Dubai Metro passengers with a unique cultural and artistic experience during their journey.

The Sheikh was quoted on his official website as saying:

We want to reach everyone through arts. We want creativity to reach every individual in the society. We want to inspire and communicate with every employee on his way to work, every student on his way to pursuing education and every tourist visiting Dubai.

The project also aims to increase awareness of the importance of art in everyday life. The Sheikh told GulfNews that,

Creativity and beauty are an essential part of our culture and identity, and is part of our daily life. Our aim is to enhance the quality of life and transport, and transform Dubai Metro stations into destinations of culture, creativity and aesthetics. (…) The art will add richly to the daily life in Dubai where the museums will become key destinations in our society, and a primary component of the details of daily life.

View of Dubai Metro line. Image from

View of Dubai Metro line. Image from

The first metro museums

The Dubai Metro Museum project aims to create an artistic environment that inspires creativity and innovation. The first phase of the project will see the transformation of four Metro stations by 2015. Each ‘station museum’ will have a particular theme that highlights specific aspects of arts and culture, which will be reflected in the interior and exterior of the museums.

The Islamic arts and Arabic Calligraphy Museum will showcase a collection of artworks inspired by Islamic art and its development phases over 1400 years, including manuscripts, ceramics, jewellery and Arabic calligraphy paintings.

The Inventions Museum will illustrate the most important human inventions made throughout history to the present day in different fields, such as engineering, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, geography, among others.

The Contemporary Art Museum will offer a comprehensive view of Modern art, including paintings, designs, graphic illustrations, models and many other artworks reflecting the expressive and intellectual styles created by contemporary artists from different parts of the world.

The Visual Art Museum will spotlight contemporary visual art scene through movie and documentary screenings, and the display of multimedia artworks of cultural and artistic importance. Here visitors will also have the opportunity to share and display their own work.

Dubai Metro station interior view. Image from

Dubai Metro station interior view. Image from

Art beyond borders

The Sheikh emphasised the vital role of Dubai and the UAE in supporting the arts in the Arab region and in the world, and the Emirates’ standing as a cultural bridge between the East and the West. Commenting on the importance of art for humanity on his website, the Sheikh said:

Art is a universal language that has the power to unite humanity and bring people from different languages, nationalities and cultures together. It removes barriers that seem to separate them from one another.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia


Related Topics: democratisation of art, art and the community, art spaces, promoting art, public art, art in Dubai

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