Abu Dhabi Government-owned developer Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has delayed the opening of three museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District after reviewing the projects.
TDIC now plans to open the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2015, the Zayed National Museum in 2016 and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017. The three museums were initially scheduled to be opened between 2013 and 2014. TDIC chairman HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan said that the museums will facilitate the development of cultural leaders and experts through education and employment, creating fulfilling career opportunities for UAE nationals.
French architect Jean Nouvel designed the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, which is set to be the first universal museum in the Arab world, showcasing art from different civilisations and cultures. The most distinctive feature of Louvre Abu Dhabi is its 180m-diameter dome, with intricate perforations resembling rays of sunlight passing through date palm fronds and diffusing light below.
British architect Norman Foster designed the Zayed National Museum; its distinctive towers are intended to evoke the wing tips of a falcon, a symbol of the cultural heritage of the UAE. Zayed National Museum will have seven permanent gallery displays as well as a temporary exhibition programme and library.
US architect Frank Gehry designed the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum, which incorporates dramatic conical forms as a modern twist on the region’s traditional wind-towers. TDIC said substantial work has already been completed on the Saadiyat museums and detailed architectural designs have now been finalised, along with all foundation and piling work.
Image: The three Saadiyat Cultural District museums are now scheduled to open in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Image: TDIC.