Dubai has announced plans to develop a $272m library in the Al-Jaddaf area, near the Dubai Creek

The 92,903-square-metre scheme, which is set to be the biggest public library in the Middle East, will also include a 500-seat theatre, according to a statement from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, during a press conference in Dubai on 2 February.

It is scheduled to be completed by 2017.

The library will house more than 4.5 million books and include several areas for interaction, events, activities, and educational and cultural festivals, reported state-controlled Emirates News Agency (Wam).

The library will serve as a platform to host and launch “significant intellectual and cultural initiatives” regionally and globally, said the report.

Other cultural projects in the emirate include the AED500m ($136m) Museum of the Future on Sheikh Zayed Road, developed by the local Meraas Holding.

Set to open in 2017, the museum will showcase cutting-edge technologies. With the motto ‘See the future, create the future’, it has been designed to play a leading role in developing a culture of innovation in Dubai and the rest of the UAE.