Saadiyat Island—or “Island of Happiness”—embodies Abu Dhabi's vision to be a regional cultural center. The island’s Cultural District will include eight museums housed in buildings designed by world-renowned architects such as Jean Nouvel, Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid.
This district will transform Abu Dhabi, the biggest of the United Arab Emirates, into an international arts capital. Major establishments will include:
- Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel, the first branch of the museum to be built outside of France
- The largest Guggenheim museum in the world, designed by Frank Gehry, with over 320,000 square feet for modern and contemporary art
- The Sheikh Zayed National Museum, featuring galleries devoted to UAE heritage, environment, history and education, designed by Foster+Partners
- A maritime museum, designed by Tadao Ando
- Performing arts center designed by Zaha Hadid
- A biennial exhibition space composed of 19 pavilions
The rest of Saadiyat Island also will offer residential, leisure and sporting facilities. The campus of New York University-Abu Dhabi will be housed on the island as well.
Consistent with Abu Dhabi’s sustainability standards, Saadiyat Island has been planned around an eco-sensitive philosophy with a special low-density masterplan that won’t damage the environmental heritage.