Play of light entwined in design: The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s concrete cladding is far from simple


Simplicity can be deceptive, as the white concrete cladding of the Louvre Abu Dhabi will reveal. The museum’s panels are as intricate in design as the canopy which will cover them, with both structures complementing one another.

Minor imperfections on the ultra-high performance fibre reinforced concrete panels are repaired. Antoine Robertson / The National

When it comes to design, simple things are usually designed and made simply, and it is only when complex things cannot be simplified that they remain as they are.

But as anybody who has used touchscreen technology or even a particularly efficient website may have realised, achieving the semblance of simplicity can often be a very complex business indeed.

Such is the case with the cladding that now envelops the galleries that are nearing completion beneath the giant saucer-shaped roof of Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island.

At first sight, there could not be a greater contrast between the 180 metre-wide canopy and the “museum city” that shelters beneath it.

The complexity of the museum’s mighty canopy is visible for all to see. It is dense, multi-layered and interconnected, like a giant woven constellation or some enormous upturned nest.

The galleries that now sit beneath, however, could not appear more different. Dressed in what look like enormous blocks of smooth, finely-cut white stone, the buildings are the very model of simplicity; the stark contrast is intended, of course. More info

Belgian firm wins deal to supply Louvre Abu Dhabi display cases

By Staff

The master developer of Saadiyat’s Cultural District has announced that it has appointed Meyvaert Glass Engineering to provide display cases for the art pieces of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) said in a statement that the Belgian-based company will provide more than 100 tailored cases that will play a key role in the project’s museology.

The display cases, bases and podia will be distributed across the museum’s permanent galleries housing some of the more delicate artefacts of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection, such as a 13th century Syrian section of the Holy Qur’an, containing suras 78 to 114, an Egyptian Mummy bandage from Ptolemaic period. More info

Restaurant review: KOI at The Collection, St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort


Before visiting KOI, the contemporary Japanese restaurant at The Collection in the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, I’d already heard plenty about it. Most notably: the service is poor and it has the best food I’ll ever taste. My verdict? Neither is true.

It’s possible that service is flawed during busier times, but we saw no sign of that on the crowd-free Saturday night we turned up. Our team of waiters was efficient, knowledgeable and unobtrusive.

It’s a chic, upscale restaurant – just stepping through its doors instantly ups your cool factor. But, though many will appreciate KOI’s dimly lit, moody vibe, I found the lack of light, black floor and dark decor inconvenient at best. An employee had to point out the too-dark-to-see slope at the restaurant’s entrance and another on the way to the bathroom. Even after the alert, I still misstepped. Additionally, the only usable light at the tables comes from small, mushroom-shaped lamps (which, we found out later, cost Dh1,300 each).

We started with the lobster avocado salad (priced at a shocking Dh154). The generous lobster tail and claw came with crispy shiitake mushrooms, fresh, dainty spinach leaves, a mound of crushed avocado and a tofu-lime dressing. More info

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s iconic Rain of Light structure comes down – video


Completed soon after construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi began in March 2009 and the only landmark visible from the Sheikh Khalifa bridge, the Rain of Light was built as a test chamber for the analysis of a 1:1 scale prototype section of the museum’s canopy.

It is now about to disappear for good as construction on the site progresses. Produced by Deepthi Unnikrishnan Deepthi Unnikrishnan


TDIC invites bids for Saadiyat Island works


Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Development Investment Company (TDIC) is seeking pre-qualification bids from contractors ahead of a tender for work on underground infrastructure such as sewage and storm water lines, sewage pumping station, and irrigation transmission lines at Saadiyat Island’s marina district.

Earlier this month, TDIC sought similar pre-qualification bids for construction of nine residential buildings on the island.

Under the master plan, the marina district will feature apartments, luxury hotels and commercial spaces.

The cultural district comprises three museums – Guggenheim, Louvre and Shaikh Zayed Museum. Among its other districts, the island has a beach area with five-star hotels and resorts, a Saadiyat promenade and Saadiyat Lagoons. A Saadiyat Reserve, with wetlands and mangroves, complete the island. More info

Dh860 million resort coming to Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi


Saadiyat Island is set for an Dh860 million resort.

The contractors Ghantoot Group and engineering company Sheikh Suroor Projects Department will develop the complex. It is expected to be ready by end of 2017 and will be locally managed.

The Saadiyat Island Beach Resort complex will have a low-rise 295-room hotel and 11 luxury villas, along with meeting rooms and a spa.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday between Sheikh Mohammed bin Suroor Al Nahyan; Ali Mohamed Sadeq Al Baloushi, the chairman of the Ghantoot Group; and Sami Al Khuwaiter, the projects director of Sheikh Suroor Projects Department. More info

About Tourism Development & Investment Company ( TDIC )

Tourism Development & Investment Company ( TDIC ), established in 2006 and fully owned by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, is a master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi.

These include Saadiyat, a natural island ten minutes drive from downtown Abu Dhabi featuring luxury resorts, championship beachfront golf courses, sophisticated residential communities, retail destinations and cultural institutions – designed by world-renowned Pritzker Prize-winning architects – such as Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TDIC is also developing Desert Islands, a heritage-based tourism destination composed of eight islands – Sir Bani Yas Island, the historical Dalma Island and the previously unexplored Discovery Islands.

TDIC has built a strong reputation among international industry players for its compelling value proposition, transparency of business approach and ability to deliver. The company has been awarded high investment grade ratings of A1, AA, and AA by three top credit rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, respectively. These ratings reflect TDIC ’s strong financial position and support the company’s credit worthiness to investors, lenders and other market participants.

By creating investment partnerships and joint ventures, TDIC ’s developments are helping to support the Emirate’s evolution into a world-class destination for tourists, businesses and residents. TDICoffers significant employment and vocational training opportunities for Emiratis keen to enhance their careers and professional qualifications.

For further information, please visit

Press Information
Farah Al Bakoush
PHONE +971 2 406 1872

© Press Release 2013

TDIC receives Blue Flag for Saadiyat Beach, Sir Bani Yas Island and Al Bateen Wharf


Abu Dhabi, October 9th, 2013 - Tourism Development & Investment Company ( TDIC ), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has received the Blue Flag for three of its developments: Saadiyat Beach on Saadiyat island, Sir Bani Yas of Desert Islands and Al Bateen Wharf in Abu Dhabi. The Blue Flag is a prestigious recognition which is awarded to beaches and marinas that follow strict criteria regarding water quality, environmental management, safety, site facilities and environmental education.

Seven leisure and tourism properties will benefit from the Blue Flag today, including Saadiyat Public Beach, Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat, St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort & Spa, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi developed by ADNH, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, Al Yamm Villa Resort on Sir Bani Yas Island and Al Bateen Wharf.

“We are so proud to announce that we will be raising the Blue Flag across our properties. It is an international recognition that goes on to show the efforts we’ve been making to maintain our beaches and marinas up to the highest standards. It is also an international accreditation that we believe will make our properties even more appealing especially since it is a label that is recognized by the environmentally conscious tourists and visitors around the world,” said Dr. Nathalie Staelens, Head of Environmental Services at TDIC . More info