Dubai may not be renowned for stargazing, whether it’s from a balcony on the 50th floor or from a specialised observatory, but we all know that when this city sets its mind to something it excels, and quickly.
That’s all the more reason to get excited about Dubai Municipality’s announcement that Thuraya Astronomy Centre, a first-of-its-kind project in the UAE, is about to open its doors in Mushrif Park.
So what can we look forward to?
Well, a state-of-the-art telescope covered by a revolving dome, an astronomy and space gallery which will include photos, paintings and models of the planets, the solar system, the stars, and a fantastic exhibition of scientific games.
“It will tell the story of the universe, with displays and information about the solar system," Hasan Al Hariri, chief executive of the Dubai Astronomy Group, told The National.
Overall, the observatory will cover a total land area of 29,600 square feet with its multi-purpose halls, open galleries, cafeteria and toilets.
Aside from being another draw for tourists in Dubai, Thuraya Astronomy Centre is expected to serve as a driving force for a new generation of budding astronomers in the UAE.
"We want show people how clearly we can view the sky even with light pollution," Al Hariri added. “We also have plans for a 2.5-metre-plus telescope in Hatta, away from light pollution, which will be focused more on scientific research."
A family ticket for a two-hour tour is expected to cost approximately Dhs50.