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Tue 6 Sep 2016 07:07 PM

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$272m contract agreed to build Dubai's Mohammed bin Rashid Library

Deputy ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum awards contract for biggest cultural project in the Arab world

$272m contract agreed to build Dubai's Mohammed bin Rashid Library

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, has approved the awarding of a AED1 billion (($272 million) contract for the construction of the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, the biggest cultural project in the Arab world.

Construction work will start this month and be completed by mid-2018, news agency WAM reported.

The 650,000 square feet property will facilitate 42 million visitors annually and will house more than 4.5 million printed, digital and audio books.

The library will include eight specialised libraries, 1.5 million printed books, two million digital books and one million audio books, WAM added, without saying which company had won the construction contract.

Designed in the shape of an open book on a lectern, the seven-storey building will also host over 100 cultural and cognitive events every year, a permanent art gallery, and a home for specialised institutions that support development of the Arabic language content.

The library includes a centre for conservation and restoration of books, manuscripts and documents, a special library for the Al Maktoum collection and a civilisation museum.

Hussein Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, was quoted as saying that the library has six pillars of wisdom that constitutes its message and distinguishes its mission - the libraries, encouraging reading, spreading content, supporting authoring and translation, protecting the Arabic Language, and preserving cultural heritage.

"The library will significantly harness modern technology to serve scientific research, dissemination of knowledge and advanced sciences. It will be a world a credible reference in Arabic language and a destination for specialists, scientists, researchers, writers, poets, intellectuals, talented minds and students. It will also serve as an incubation for publishers," Lootah said.

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