Saadiyat Louvre to open in 2015

By Jen Thomas www.thenational.ae

A newly unveiled timetable for the opening of Saadiyat Island’s landmark museums promises the long-delayed cultural projects will be completed by 2017.

The capital’s arm of the Louvre Museum is expected to be the first for completion, with an opening date of 2015. The Zayed National Museum will follow with an opening in 2016, and the Guggenheim is expected to open in 2017.

The revised delivery dates come just three months after the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the island’s master developer, said construction on the museums was stalled.

Though delayed, TDIC officials insisted none of the projects had been scrapped. The Louvre and Guggenheim museums were initially expected to be finished by 2014, and the national museum later that year.

“We are fully confident that we will fulfil our promise of delivering the level of museums expected from TDIC, the Saadiyat Cultural District and Abu Dhabi,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, the general manager of TDIC.

He added that the authority “is ready to plan a new implementation process for the museums”.

The new chronology for the Saadiyat Cultural District centrepieces comes on the heels of an Executive Council announcement earlier this week that budgets and expected opening dates for the museums were finalised.

TDIC and the Executive Council called for a plan with a staggered timetable to allow each museum to gain its own following.

The cultural district is envisioned as the gem of Saadiyat Island, one of TDIC’s flagship development projects, and is advertised as featuring “the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural institutions when complete”.

The island will eventually house an estimated 145,000 residents and all construction is expected to be completed by 2020. More info

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