Most of us would have seen photos and videos of Museum of the Future on socials, or at least driven pass the beautiful building on Sheikh Zayed Road. The big question on every parent’s minds is : What is there for kids? Is it worth taking them there? What exactly is in this museum?
We drove up to the Museum of the Future over the weekend, early September to review the venue, three little kids in tow.
Here is what to expect.
First off. You know where it is.
And if you don’t, it’s the building that looks like this.
What is the parking situation like?
There is parking within the building. You could also get dropped off at the front entrance with the kids, and one of you park the car. Regardless, it’s very easy, as the lifts takes you straight into the building.
They do have valet, for a fee.
Have look at other transport options on MOTF’s website here.
Was it busy when you went?
Museum of the Future’s opening hours are 10am to 6pm, everyday.
We chose the 11am slot on a Sunday morning. This was 8 months after its opening in February 2022, and I would say yes – it was still quite busy. I remember trying to find tickets when my parents were here back in July and it was fully booked for the next 4 weeks or so.
Once you get to the main counter, they scan your tickets and give you wristbands.
You join the queue to the start of the entire ‘experience’. Whilst waiting in queue, it gives you time to admire the architecture, the interior, and the kids will probably be quite mesmerized by that giant floating silver ‘air penguin’, powered by Festo. My 6 year old was chasing it down….. haha. We were in line for about 20 minutes or so.
You can read more about these Air penguins here.
What is the experience like? Do you walk by yourself? Are you guided?
There is always someone at each floor that explains to you what is happening.
The experience starts right at the beginning on Ground floor when you are introduced to an avatar. You then enter the lift as though you are in a rocketship, being blasted into outer space. It was really exciting for the kids, as they watch the ‘world’ go by ‘outside’, ie screens on the side of the lift.
My 6 year old was pretty disappointed she didn’t start floating, by the time we got to ‘outer space’, ha ha.
What happens next? What do you see?
There are 3 floors with various activations and experiences. It shows what the world will be like 50 years from now – in 2071.
Every floor is designed such that you have to walk through it all (the ‘Ikea’ concept, huh? 🙂 )
You get off on the 5th floor – and as the theme goes – you enter the space station in the future called the ‘Oss Hope’. It’s pretty cool – you look out into “space” and there are various stations where the kids can scan their wristbands and play around the knobs and buttons (to explain it in simple ‘kids’ terms). Whether or not they know what they are looking at – that’s where you come into play. I did like their 3D solar system display – and I think kids who are into ‘space’ would love it too.
One floor down is the ‘Heal Institute’ where we see a digital recreation of the Amazon. The room we loved the most was a beautiful installation of a ‘DNA library’ containing 2400 species called the ‘Vault of Life’. This was a fascinating setup – the kids loved the colours and walking pass every one of them and figuring out what was inside.
It would have been better if each species had a label of some sort so the older kids knew what they were looking at – which would have made it a bit more educational. It was still nice though, walking around the room – and trying to answer their questions, and at the same time trying to stop the younger ones from touching each and every jar……
On the 3rd floor was what they call the ‘Al Waha’ – the future of wellness. They describe it as ” Explore a center for the human senses where you are encouraged to disconnect from technology and reconnect to your mind, body, and spirit. ” Unfortunately for us – the kids had gone restless so the husband took them down to Level 1, where ‘Future Heroes’ section, ie the play area. I had a wander through there for a bit – quite quickly, through the various rooms of ‘wellness therapies’.
Where is that outdoor deck where all the photos are taken?
While I had the opportunity, I went down to Level 02, to the outdoor terrace. That, is where every reel and photo of Museum of the Future has been taken. It is quite an impressive spot for photos – you’ll be pretty lucky if you can get a shot without a million others.
If you have a pram, there is a lift that takes you from Level 02, up to the deck – though it is hidden so ask the staff on duty. Everyone else will have to take the stairs 😉
And finally, the kids play area?
The ‘Future Heroes’ section is located on Level 01.
I love the design – the use of neutral tones which does make it look all that futuristic, and calm.
They are very strict about the age – so take note that the main play area (above) is for 4 to 10 year olds. Parents are also not allowed to go in (not even if you played the ‘media’ card). My 4 and 6 year old was in there for more than an hour, and would happily stayed in there if it wasn’t for the fact that they got hungry.
They were in the ‘dome’ for the longest time, and then spent some time climbing up the various play structures. There is also a trampoline at the back.
Have a read through TimeoutDubai’s piece which covers this section in detail.
There is not too much for under 4s – a small section with building blocks. I would highly suggest that if you have kids of various ages, take the younger one to another installation on a separate floor while the older ones play – unless they are happy to just stay in this area.
Is the whole museum pram-friendly?
We had our pram with us for the 2 year old, and yes – there are lifts for getting from floor to floor. As it was quite busy when we were there, the lifts did take sometime, so I would recommend if you have older kids that don’t necessarily need the pram – don’t bring it in 😉
Museum of the Future is no doubt an architectural and structural marvel. It is a beautiful building : sleek, unique, special. The installations on the various floors did start out exciting, though it is to be mentioned that when you have young kids in tow – we did feel that we could not really pay attention to each and every activation and had to cut the visit short – ending up spending the rest of the time in the Future Heroes section.
Based on that point, I would hope that the 145AED ticket price be reconsidered for younger kids. Maybe from age 8 and onwards? Especially for a 3 year old, who won’t be able to access the Future Heroes play area as well – they will be absolutely heartbroken 😉
With that being said, it was a nice afternoon spent. Interesting, different. We were in there for about 2 hours, and if you really wanted to make the most of it you could stay longer – as long as the little ones were entertained in the Future Heroes area.
What about you, have you been to Museum of the Future with kids? What did you think of it?
- Museum of the Future
Disclaimer : We were guests of Museum of the Future, to review the venue with the family.