Cultural District

The Cultural District is the pulsing cultural hub for celebration and innovation in the arts, and the soul in which the entire fabric of the island is built. With its array of architectural icons, Saadiyat Cultural District fuels the imagination, fosters interaction, and allows people of all backgrounds to embrace a common band of creativity. The Cultural District is a shining beacon on the international arts and cultural horizon.

Zayed National Museum:

The museum will honor the late leader of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and will provide a new source of inspiration to the world. The museum will provide a fitting testament to the life and times of his towering national figure, to his inspired vision and to the legacy he left behind. Given the museums overarching importance, twelve of the world´s top architectural firms participated in a competition to create the most appropriate design for this modern Arabian icon. The Pritzker Prize winner Foster + Partners were declared winners.The museum will feature five galleries, each themed around a pillar of Sheikh Zayed´s legacy and central aspects of his life work. Spanning 345,000 square feet, the museum will also encompass a presidential library, falconry centre, and a family theatre. The museum will open in 2013.

Louvre Abu Dhabi:

Abu Dhabi and France have signed an intergovernmental agreement to create the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a universal museum within the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island. The agreement established a new type of cultural collaboration between two sovereign countries. Jean Nouvel, a Pritzker Prize winner, is the architecture of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum. Jean Nouvel´s design concept for the museum owes as much to the tradition of Arabian architecture as to the Saadiyat´s distinctive features. The 180m diameter dome illustrates the Islamic design. The museum will open in 2013.  

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi:

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum is conceived as a dynamic institution devoted to the acquisition and display of modern and contemporary art, recognized for the excellence of its architecture, collections, exhibitions, and educational initiatives. It will promote the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture from broadly international perspective, while sustaining the heritage of its local environment. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is designed by Frank Gehry and will incorporate dramatic conical forms that play with a modern twist on the region´s ancient wind-towers. With approximately 13,000 square meters of permanent and temporary exhibition space, it is the largest museum in the Cultural District. The museum will open in 2013.

Performing Arts Centre:

The Performing Arts Centre will be a hub of cutting-edge theatre, music and dance from around the world. The centre will house a music hall, concert hall, opera house, drama theatre, an experiment performance space and an Academy of Performing Arts. The Performing Arts Centre is designed by architect Zaha Hadid. The centre will open in 2015

Maritime Museum:

Located off the Cultural District and by the Marina, is the Maritime Museum. Because it´s linked to the sea, it is significant to locate it on the Saadiyat Marina rather than the Cultural District. The museum will house the UAE´s proud seafaring history. Maritime Museum is designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Tadao Ando. The building provides a meeting point of land and sea, as well as the traditions of yesterday and tomorrow. The museum will open in 2015

For more information on the Cultural District click here.