Dubai has announced plans to build the biggest library in the Arab world, which will entail an investment of AED1bn ($272.2m).
Scheduled to open in 2017, the new library in Dubai’s Al Jaddaf area will cover an area of 1m sq ft.
The seven-storey building will feature several areas for interaction, events, activities, educational and cultural festivals, and will accommodate over 4.5m books.
It will comprise a museum of the Arab heritage and the history of human civilisation, and a 500-seat theatre for hosting lectures, seminars and cultural initiatives.
The new library will incorporate the shape of an open book on a rahle, the Arabic lectern.
Dubai vice president, prime minister and ruler Sheikh Mohammed said: "We are the leaders of civilisation, duty and culture, and so we need to revive the spirit of learning and curiosity within our culture through innovative initiatives that push our boundaries.
"This is why we decided to start the Year of Reading by launching this state-of-the-art library and to let everyone know that we will transform the UAE into an Arab and global cultural and learning centre while strongly establishing reading as a societal norm."