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Saadiyat Island

The future site of the largest cultural district in the world

by Elena Banfi
May 12th, 2015

Saadiyat means happiness in Arabic. 500 metres from the Abu Dhabi coastline, Saadiyat Island is synonymous with white beaches and deluxe hotels. But it is also the most ambitious project in the history of the United Arab Emirates: this will be the site of the largest Cultural District on the planet, a concentration of the most important museums designed by cult architects.

Within a year, it will boast the Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by the Pritzker prize winner Jean Nouvel, the first universal museum in the Arab world. While 2016 will see the launch of the Zayed National Museum by Lord Norman Foster, which will tell the story of the founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

At 42,000 m2, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi by Frank Gehry will be the most majestic in the world; while the Performing Arts Centre by Zaha Hadid will create space for five theatres, a music hall, a concert hall and an opera house. In the midst of an enchanting sea, culture and creativity will reign supreme.

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