The booming Muslim Gulf emirate of Dubai announced Tuesday it will build the world's first museum dedicated to the life of the Prophet Mohammed.
Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, has authorized construction of the museum to examine the legacy and message of Islam's founder, state media reported.
"The project aims to shed light on the life and legacy of the Holy Prophet and the divine message he lived for, thus introducing the message of eternal love and peace Islam gave the entire mankind," the official WAM news agency said.
The museum will also inform visitors on the history and practices of Islam, including the Hajj pilgrimage.
Cosmopolitan Dubai is home to over 150 nationalities and observes a relatively liberal version of Islam compared to elsewhere in the region.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi, another member and capital of the oil-rich, seven-member UAE federation, are both positioning themselves as global cultural centers.
Dubai runs a successful international film festival, while Abu Dhabi has agreed to pay 400 million euros to France to create the "desert Louvre", borrowing artworks from the Paris museum for extended periods.