Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi: New Cultural Mecca For UAE

The UAE is not only becoming the financial and entertainment center of the world, but the cultural center as well. Saadiyat Island, another of the magnificent Abu Dhabi Mega Projects, will become a cultural mecca for the Middle East and the entire world. An island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat – which translates as 'Island Of Happiness' – is located to the north east of Abu Dhabi City and it occupies an area of 27 square kilometres, the entire project is due for completion by 2018 at an estimated cost of $27Billion.

According to the developers of Saadiyat, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company - TDIC - Saadiyat will be:

'A premier island destination as well as a modern, integrated residential community, Saadiyat will eventually be home to an estimated 150,000 residents with a full compliment of leisure and tourism facilities, as well as civic and cultural amenities. Saadiyat will be linked to Abu Dhabi City by two iconic causeways, one of which will operate a light rail system and a 10 kilometre long highway with bridge, making it a mere 5 minute drive from the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi and close distance to Abu Dhabi International Airport.'

Saadiyat will be divided into 7 distinct districts as follows:

1.) Cultural District. This is the district that will make Saadiyat a Middle East and world cultural icon. The Cultural District will be home to five major cultural institutions designed by internationally renowned architects and a Biennale Park setting with pavilions designed to host international art and cultural fairs and events. The Cultural District will also contain; a city-facing quayside, an iconic 7-Star hotel, exclusive villas, retail shops of all kinds, harbors and green parks. The Cultural District will feature five cultural institutions:

- The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi
- The Performing Arts Centre
- The Sheikh Zayed National Museum
- The Maritime Museum

More cultural institutions may be added. New York University will be opening a study abroad campus on Saadiyat as well.

2.) Al Marina District. This will be a business district for both Middle East and international companies. The Marina District will also offer luxury residences, boutique hotels and a variety of entertainment and leisure facilities.

3.) South Beach. 'A secluded yet dynamic beachfront development which is the heart of Saadiyat’s family destination resort offering which will set new standards for coastal communities. South Beach will be a place for people to live, for businesses to invest, for visitors to enjoy, culture to celebrate and nature to thrive,' according to TDIC.

4.) The Wetlands. This area will contain a golf course and exclusive villa residences. The entire area will be an eco-friendly natural setting offering a lifestyle of peace and seclusion.

5.) Eco Point. A secluded area containing boutique eco-hotels.

6.) Saadiyat Beach. Designed to be an international tourist destination, Saadiyat Beach will contain a championshop golf course designed by Gary Player. Saadiyat Beach will also contain; 5-Star Resort Hotels, private and public beach clubs, luxury golf residences, and 9 kilometres of natural beaches.

7.) Island Lagoons. Waterside residential area that will contain a large variety of upscale waterfront residences.

What a Mega Development Saadiyat is! Surely a master-planned Mega Project like Saadiyat Island will make the UAE a new cultural mecca for the entire world!

Here is the link to the Saadiyat Island website:


This link takes you to TDIC, developers of Saadiyat:


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