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These UFO-Like Buildings Are a Space-Age Tourist’s Dream

The future is now—follow this tour of UFO architecture found all around the world

Since this art museum in Brazil was completed in 1996, it has put the relatively unknown city of Niterói on the map. (SERGIO MORAES/Reuters/Corbis)
smithsonianmag.com

Remember the future of yesteryear? It was supposed to include flying cars, humanoid robots and architecture that looked like it came out of a sci-fi illustrator's sketchbook. Society hasn't done very well on the car or robot servant front, but it turns out there are plenty of UFO-inspired buildings that keep the future (as imagined by the past) alive. In honor of the flying saucer-like craft that landed atop a newly constructed building in China's Shandong province, come along on a tour of some of the world's coolest UFO-like buildings.

Al Raha Beach Hotel (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Okay, so this technically doesn't look like a flying saucer. But what if aliens decided to descend in mirrored discs, instead? If they did, they'd likely use a structure that looks a lot like the one that caps off this five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi. Boasting crystal-clear beach waters and plenty of upscale perks, the hotel would make a comfy place to lay your head—and dream of a future in which our alien overlords show off their great taste in buildings.

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