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  • Abu Dhabi Aspires to be Cultural Hub

  • January 2, 2007
  • Yasmin Ali

    Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has a desire to best its fellow emirates as the place to be for a cultural experience in the Middle East and eventually, the entire world.

    Abu Dhabi set off their new initiative with their announcement of the construction of a brand-new Guggenheim museum.  The new Guggenheim will be the largest in the world at approximately 30 000 m² and costing around $400 million USD.  The ambitious project has goals of attracting three million tourists by 2015.

    The new museum, which is an addition to the line of museums that are run across the globe by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, will be located on the new Abu Dhabi development of Saadiyat Island. 

    The new Guggenheim will be yet another foray with the museum for world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.  His most famous work to-date is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.  The fact alone that there will be a Gehry work in Abu Dhabi will be sufficient enough to lure in tourists.  Many people in the UAE are sure he will bring the same style and flair to the Abu Dhabi museum and hope he will top his previous masterpiece and add a truly unique addition to the Abu Dhabi skyline. 
    Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) is quite confident in Abu Dhabi’s future as a hub for culture.  He is especially proud of the development of Saadiyat Island, where the new Guggenheim museum will be placed along with a slew of other attractions.  The government is expected to allocate approximately $12 billion USD for new projects in the coming years.

    The long-term goal is to transform Abu Dhabi into an “upscale tourist destination” by adding to its already existing attractions. 


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