MTE Studios, a specialized consultancy firm focused on Lifescape Architecture and interactive experiences located in Dubai, Bahrain and Cape Town, undertook the prestigious project of creating a permanent exhibition at Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai titled «1000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered.” The first of its kind in the world, this unique exhibition aspired to increase awareness of Muslim contributions to science, technology and the modern world.
MTE Studios needed a partner that demonstrated:
> Cultural Relevance and Expertise: a deep understanding of Arab and Muslim heritage, and one that could successfully navigate cultural nuances.
> Linguistic Competence: strong linguistic capabilities in Arabic (and English) to ensure accurate and meaningful translation, transcreation, and adaptation of MTE’s content.
> Shared Vision and Values: an honest belief in the value and significance of MTE’s project. This alignment in vision and values was crucial for a successful partnership.
Addressing the Challenge:
Tabeer, the partner for leveraging words and connecting cultures across the globe, emerged as the ideal partner for MTE Studios. Through meticulous planning and implementation, Tabeer embarked on a 12-month journey to localize and Arabize the exhibition’s entire content, ensuring accuracy whilst taking into account the cultural dimension and sensitivities at every step.
> Assigning a dedicated team of researchers, writers, linguists, and subject matter experts with a deep understanding of Muslim history and culture.
> Arming the team with an in-depth understanding of the client’s needs, the special nature of this project, and the importance of the cultural dimension.
> Skillful utilization of connections and resources, and its access to traditional encyclopedias, libraries, original and/or copies of resource material, and references in Arabic to research and develop a deeper understanding of the specifics of this project (at a time when online resources were sparse).
> Ensuring accuracy and cultural relevance by developing a strategic verification and review plan, cross-checking with Arabic language references, and editing processes.
> Ensuring consistency by building a customized glossary.
> Creating a plan for effective and constant communications with MTE’s team.
> Ensuring high levels of service, responsiveness & adherence to tight deadlines.
> Offering informed and verified cultural content consultation and recommendations to further enrich the content & add important information.
MTE received work which exceeded their expectations, with strong, knowledge-rich Arabic content that matched the high levels of the English content. The Arabic dimension captured the essence of MTE’s project in portraying Ibn Battuta’s journey and the achievements of Muslim scientists, and in creating a meaningful and immersive experience for Arabic-speaking audiences. The success of this exhibition paved the way for MTE to create the KAUST Museum of Science and Technology in Islam, and the Sultans of Science traveling exhibition (both times MTE partnered with Tabeer), with the latter garnering international recognition and continuing to tour globally.