Saadiyat Island (Arabic for Island of Happiness) lies 500 meters north east of Abu Dhabi city, occupying an area of 27 sq km.
In 2004, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) embarked on a vision of developing Saadiyat Island into a world-class, environmentally sensitive tourist destination that included as its centerpiece the creation of a new cultural district.
This vision was translated into a masterplan through the appointment of the USA's Gensler Associates, and the establishment of the Tourism Development Investment Company (TDIC).
Due for completion by 2018, Saadiyat is expected to be home to an estimated 150,000 residents with a full complement of leisure and tourism facilities, as well as civic and cultural amenities. It will be developed around six districts with 29 hotels, 3 marinas, a culture and arts hub, 2 golf courses, 19 kilometers of beachfront. The island will be linked to Abu Dhabi city via two iconic causeways, one of which will operate a light rail system and a 10-kilometre long highway with bridge.
In order to conceive a masterplan for the Cultural District, an agreement was signed with the Guggenheim Foundation in July 2006. The masterplan was completed in January of 2007, and presented in an exhibition at the Emirates Palace Hotel on Abu Dhabi Corniche, from 31 January to 30 April 2007.
5 major cultural institutions designed by renowned architects: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Architect: Frank Gehry Louvre Abu Dhabi. Architect: Jean Nouvel Performing Arts Centre. Architect: Zaha Hadid Maritime Museum. Architect: Tadao Ando Sheikh Zayed National Museum. Architect: the result of a competition is still open.
Biennale Park: Pavilions for art and cultural events and fairs. Graduate Schools in the Fine Arts and Creative Campus for art, architecture, music, drama.
Supplementary Program Components: Art Biennale Abu Dhabi Architecture Biennale Abu Dhabi Art Fair Abu Dhabi The World Cultural Forum (WCF) in Abu Dhabi Artists installations in plazas, open spaces and neighborhoods Artist-in-Residence Production Facility / Training Program Desert Platforms / Artists installations Print version all the texts, including sources