Yesterday, CNBC featured Dubai’s incredible Museum of the Future. It is a beautifully designed architectural marvel, but more importantly, it provides some insight into the priorities of the government of Dubai. In the short article, CNBC points out that the Museum of the Future “is not meant to hold artifacts of the past but instead is intended to be an incubator for innovation.”
The Futurism YouTube channel assembled a short video to examine not only the future vision for the Museum of the Future, but also a number of the exhibits that they have already had while construction is proceeding. It is incredible.
My immediate thought was, well Dubai is a wealthy petroleum state so they have the funds to spend on things like this. But when I began to dig into that idea, I found that, while certainly it has to do with wealth, it has more to do with priorities. It only takes a quick search to discover that the Dubai GDP per capita is $24,866 (USD) which is impressive, until it is compared to that of the United States. The U.S. has a GDP per capita of $57,466 (USD) that is 131% greater than that of Dubai.
The question is why few examples of the Museum of the Future exist in the U.S. when the U.S. is so much wealthier than Dubai? The only answer I can come up with is priorities. Where a country spends its wealth really says a lot about its culture. It is easy to confuse a country’s priorities for wealth, but the numbers tell a very different tale.