UAE: Free time capsule to store letters, gifts to your future self, send them to you in 15 years

Residents excitedly put together a box of keepsakes, knick-knacks and other items that they would like to receive 15 years later


Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Sat 14 Jan 2023, 10:58 AM

Last updated: Sat 14 Jan 2023, 5:04 PM

Keepsakes, letters to their future selves, stones and even masks are some of the peculiar items UAE residents are freezing in a time capsule to be opened after 15 years. The service is being offered for free by Dubai-based company The Box Self-Storage as part of its 15th anniversary.

The concept was inspired by founder and CEO of The Box Wadih Haddad’s own experience in the UAE in 1997 when he and his friends buried a time capsule. “When we returned after 10 years to get it back, there was a building on top and we couldn't ever get it back,” he recalls.

“So, when the 15-year anniversary of The Box came about, it got us thinking. Backyards aren't that common in Dubai where people can do time capsules. We have the capability to let them keep their time capsule safe with us and also to ship it to them in case they aren't close by in 15 years. This is basically how the idea of the DXB time capsule was born.”

“What I would like to remember”

Dubai resident Bhoomika was one of those who put a keepsake into the time capsule. “I thought to myself what I would like to remember about this time,” she said. “So, I took a box and added several items. I put my 2022 journal, an old bottle of bath salts because I feel like when I open the box and the smell came wafting out, I would recall this time. I also put in a mask to remind myself of the year we survived, a photograph of a dinner with my siblings and husband and a few other knick-knacks including stones from different beach across the UAE.”

According to her, what she enjoyed the most about the whole process was the conversations it inspired. “Ever since I heard of it, I spent a lot of time discussing with my family what I wanted to put in,” she said. “It made all of us think a little deeper and be more mindful of our current blessings.”

Bhoomika’s husband also put a letter into the capsule. “When he saw the writing station, he wrote a letter to me and put it in as well,” she said. “I really wanted to read it because he never writes me letters. I guess I just have to wait 15 years.”

A homegrown concept, The Box started in 2006 from the founder's bedroom in the Springs in Dubai. The idea came through fulfilling the need of a customer who had a specific issue with managing their space requirements. “In the beginning it was just me running around assisting customers, delivering packages and managing the back-office administration and door to door selling,” said Wadih. Since then, the company has grown to an organization with over 30 office staff and over 40 security guards, truck drivers and handling crew.

How it works

Residents can visit The Box, JLT between January 13 and 15 from 10am to 5.30pm and leave their precious memorabilia in the time capsule. It can be a message, a favourite recipe, a letter, a much-loved outfit, goal lists for the future and more. There is a writing station at the facility which will allow residents to write and seal letters to themselves in the time capsule.

After the three days, The Box will seal the container and only open it in 15 years, preserving the objects over time and providing an opportunity to reflect on what life was like in 2023. The company will deliver the items to its owners in 2038, no matter where they are.


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