MOMEMA Dubai, UAE Culture Village, Modern Art Building, Picture, Architect, Museum

MOMEMA Dubai: Museum of Middle East Modern Art

Museum of Middle East Modern Art, Khor Dubai, UAE design by UNStudio architects

post updated 21 September 2021 ; 10 Nov 2008

Museum of Middle East Modern Art

Location: Khor Dubai, UAE – Dubai Creek

Date of design: 2008

Design: UNStudio

MOMEMA: first part of a new cultural hub in Dubai

MOMEMA Dubai Museum of Middle East Modern Art


Plans are in progress for a Museum of Middle East Modern Art (MOMEMA). At the basis of the Museum is the strategic vision of making the UAE a hub for multicultural understanding. The museum will be a celebration of the importance of Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) as a new cultural hub within Dubai as a global city. This new cultural hub, the so-called Culture Village, will be located on 40 million square feet of land in the historic district of Jadaf.

In addition to the Museum of Middle East Modern Art, this landmark project will include an amphitheatre for live performances and international cultural festivals, an exhibition hall and smaller museums displaying local and international art, as well as a shipyard for traditional dhow builders. It will also include residential, commercial and retail zones.

It is envisaged that MOMEMA will hold a variety of spaces to exhibit Arts and Culture such as exhibitions, art galleries, leasable workshop spaces, auditorium, and amphitheatre for live performances and international festivals. In addition, Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art offers a boutique hotel with 60 keys and a boutique retail promenade on the active Culture Village waterfront, as well as a high end signature restaurant on the top level, with 360 degree views of Dubai Creek.

The Museum of Middle East Modern Art was launched in June by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. UNStudio, based in The Netherlands, has been selected to design the Museum. Ben van Berkel, the co-founder and Principal Architect of UNStudio is an experienced designer of museums and a variety of public projects.

Current projects are the restructuring of the station area of Arnhem, an apartment tower in Manhattan, New York, a shopping mall renovation in Kaohsiung, a masterplan for Basauri, a music theatre for Graz and the design and restructuring of the Harbor Ponte Parodi in Genoa. In recent years, UNStudio has realized amongst others the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, a façade and interior renovation for the Galleria Department store in Seoul and a private villa in up-state New York.

Museum of Middle East Modern Art Museum of Middle East Modern Art Dubai MOMEMA Museum of Middle East Modern Art UAE

Ben van Berkel about the Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art:

‘In MOMEMA Dubai we recognize the opportunity to create an entirely new type of museum, which consists of a vibrant urban centre, where professionals, collectors and public meet each other. In this way, MOMEMA will be a community-building institution within the city, and offer to both visitors and residents a continuously changing palette of experiences and events.’

‘The building is positioned to take full advantage of the prominent location in the Culture Village. With its Dhow-like prow rising up, the building offers panoramic views to the surroundings, and vice versa.’

‘Inside, the design of this new museum stimulates contemplation, but by other means than enforcing a restricted optical field. There are no abrupt transitions. The space (the time) you have left behind is undividedly part of the space you are in now, is part of your ecological field, is still perceptible, still surrounding you; the art contained in those spaces follows this principle. Formats, mediums, and times can be effortlessly arranged together and rearranged. There are never too many people; this museum thrives on audiences, vernissages, and spectacle. In the MOMEMA, public, event, art and business meet each other and feed on each other.’

The Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art will cover an area of 25,000 square meters and is expected to be completed in January 2011.

Museum of Middle East Modern Art Dubai images / information from UNStudio 100811


Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates – the Middle East, western Asia

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