Economist highlights Abu Dhabi’s plan to become culture hub

ABU DHABI — A leading British magazine has highlighted efforts being made by Abu Dhabi to become a regional hub for culture and arts.

By (Wam)

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Published: Sat 10 Feb 2007, 9:35 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:27 AM

The latest issue of the Economist weekly magazine, carried a report about Abu Dhabi’s plans to develop a cultural district of Saadiyat Island, a colossal and luxurious waterfront community soon to rise on the outskirts of the UAE’s capital.

“Last year, Abu Dhabi signed a deal for New York’s Guggenheim Foundation to create a world-class modern-art museum as a showpiece for Saadiyat Island’s Culture District. The $400m building, to be designed by a Los Angeles architect, Frank Gehry, is billed as the biggest yet in a spreading franchise of Guggenheims in such outlets as Berlin, Bilbao and Venice,” the magazine said.

It also referred to negotiations to build a Louvre too — a huge translucent dome filled with fountains to be designed by a Frenchman, Jean Nouvel. A consortium of top French state museums would lend works, advise on an ambitious acquisitions plan, and lease the Louvre brand name for an eventual museum of classical and ancient art.

Other projects for the Culture District include a performing arts centre designed by Zaha Hadid, and a maritime museum by Japan’s Tadao Ando. Abu Dhabi is also pitching to a different kind of audience with Ferrari World, a red-hued theme park celebrating the famed racing cars. And it has opened a fully-fledged branch of the Sorbonne, the Paris university.

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