TDIC prepares to build homes in museum quarter of Saadiyat Island

By Lucy Barnard  http://www.thenational.ae

Tourism Development & Investment Company, the government-owned developer of cultural and residential projects in Abu Dhabi, is preparing to build its first homes in its multibillion-dirham museum quarter on Saadiyat Island.

With Abu Dhabi’s Louvre museum scheduled to open in 2015, followed by the Zayed National Museum in 2016 and the Guggenheim museum in 2017, and a luxury shopping mall set to be developed between them, master developer TDIC said it was pressing ahead with plans to build hundreds of homes in the area.

TDIC plans to build low-rise apartments blocks along a 1.5 kilometre beachfront close to the 550-store luxury mall it is jointly developing with L Real Estate, a property development and investment fund sponsored by Louis Vuitton.

A current model, exhibited by TDIC this week, shows 12 apartment blocks of two or three storeys stretching along the beach from the Guggenheim to the new Cranleigh school campus, which is due to open next year, and the Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition space. However, TDIC said that these designs were likely to change over the coming weeks. More info

Celeb Fave Koi Restaurant Opens at The Collection on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

By OLIVIA SPADAVECCHIA http://www.ahlanlive.com

The Abu Dhabi outlet joins the brand’s other venues in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and Bangkok where the guest list reads like the who’s who of Hollywood. Celebs including Jessica Alba, George Clooney, Leo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey (the list goes on…) have tucked into the restaurant’s top-notch collection of sushi and Japanese dishes.

The Abu Dhabi venue is the region’s flagship branch featuring a dedicated sushi bar, cocktail lounge and terraces for outdoor dining. There’s an area for pre-drinks and casual dining in addition to the lounge and restaurant where you can grab a spot at the sushi counter, casual tables or Koi’s signature booths. To really feel like a celeb when you’re out for dinner, there’s a VIP function room for private hire.

The menu includes traditional sushi and sashimi as well as Koi’s more inventive take on Japanese cuisine such as the Koi crispy rice with tuna, lobster tacos, dragon rolls and spicy rock shrimp tempura.

INFO: 6pm-1am daily, The Collection, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 02 678 3334

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi construction tender floated

By Yamurai Zendera  http://www.constructionweekonline.com

Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) is inviting contractors to pre-qualify for the main contract to build the Guggenheim museum on Saadiyat Island.

The scope of the works includes concrete substructure, concrete superstructure, structural steelwork, glulam timber structure/glazed cladding to the cones, MEP, vertical transportation, specialist security installation, fit-out works and external works.

Designed by celebrity architect Frank Gehry, TDIC said the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is conceived as a dynamic institution devoted to the acquisition and display of modern and contemporary art, recognised for the excellence of its architecture, collections, exhibitions, and educational initiatives.

It will promote the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture from a broadly international perspective, while sustaining the heritage of its local environment, the organisation adds. More info

Louvre construction will kick off Saadiyat transformation

By Emily Cleland  www.thenational.ae

The moment building begins on the much-anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi will mark a major milestone in the development of Saadiyat Island as a cultural destination.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi construction site on Saadiyat Island near Abu Dhabi.  Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/louvre-construction-will-kick-off-saadiyat-transformation#ixzz2IVEo38Rd Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

The Louvre Abu Dhabi construction site on Saadiyat Island near Abu Dhabi. Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/louvre-construction-will-kick-off-saadiyat-transformation#ixzz2IVEo38Rd Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

Having a branch of the prestigious museum is an achievement in itself, but this building is part of an even larger scheme.

It is the first of a trio of hugely exciting projects that will put the capital firmly on the map in the world of arts and culture. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum will join it, with all due to be completed by 2017.

The innovative buildings will be the centrepieces for the prestigious Saadiyat Cultural District, which is being built by the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) on the island of 27 square kilometres. More info

TDIC targets investments for Saadiyat Island project

By Lucy Barnard  www.thenational.ae

Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the flagship developer of cultural and residential projects in Abu Dhabi, is hoping to sell parcels of land on its flagship Saadiyat Island project to foreign sovereign wealth funds.

TDIC has been working on plans to develop the prestigious Saadiyat Island scheme since its inception in 2006. Lee Hoagland / The National

TDIC has been working on plans to develop the prestigious Saadiyat Island scheme since its inception in 2006. Lee Hoagland / The National

The government-owned developer building Abu Dhabi’s much anticipated cultural district told The National that it was in discussions with overseas funds to invest in land at its 27 square kilometre island, which lies 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

“We are talking to sovereign funds for them to come and invest in Saadiyat. I can’t say which funds yet and it is at an early stage but we are talking with them about buying plots of land on Saadiyat,” Ahmed Al Fahim, the executive director of sales and leasing, said at the Cityscape Global exhibition in Dubai this week.

“They would be sovereign funds.”

TDIC has been working on plans to develop the prestigious Saadiyat Island scheme since its inception in 2006. Ambitious plans for the island include branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums, a campus for New York University and homes for 145,000 residents. More info

Endangered Hawksbill turtles hatching on Saadiyat Island

By Staff report  www.gulfnews.com

Abu Dhabi: Two resort employees spotted hundreds of baby turtle tracks on the beach of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi last week, which led them to the discovery that endangered hawksbill sea turtles were hatching on the island. The duo were quick to alert the environment team of the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) which monitors the turtles under its Hawksbill Sea Turtle Conservation Programme.

“We’ve been checking the beach first thing every morning since the nest was laid,” said Shiva Kumar, from the Leisure & Spa team for St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi. “TDIC gave us training on what to look out for and how to identify turtle tracks, and they told us that it took between 50 and 60 days for a turtle nest to hatch.”

Kumar and beach lifeguard Sunil Shetty, both from India, were the first to spot the turtle hatchlings, said a press release issued by TDIC yesterday.

“Shiva and I were conducting our routine morning beach check, and suddenly we came across hundreds of tiny turtle tracks making their way from the dune area to the shore,” explained a thrilled Shetty. “It really makes you happy to see; we’ve been keeping an eye on the nest for the past two months and making sure it remained protected — so in a way we feel like those little turtles were part of the family.” More info

Line-up for Abu Dhabi Art revealed

By James Gabrilo  www.thenational.ae

The line-up for this year’s Abu Dhabi Art, running from November 7 to 10 on Saadiyat Island, has been revealed and features the works of more than 400 artists from 50 of the world’s leading modern, contemporary art and design galleries.

Saadiyat Island's UAE Pavilion, one of the venues for Abu Dhabi Art.

Saadiyat Island's UAE Pavilion, one of the venues for Abu Dhabi Art.

Now in its fourth edition, Abu Dhabi Art will be held once again at the Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition centre as well as the UAE Pavilion, designed by the architect Lord Norman Foster.

Participating galleries include Ayyam Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Brigitte Schenk, Galerie El Marsa, Hauser & Wirth, Lisson Gallery, Sfeir-Semler, The Third Line and Waterhouse & Dodd.

“You can see from the calibre of galleries we have again this year that it was a difficult decision to select a small number from the exceptional submissions, to fit with our boutique platform,” said the event’s executive director Rita Aoun-Abdo. More info

Splashing the cash at Sontaya restaurant

By Brian Kappler  www.thenational.ae

Sontaya, in the sprawling St Regis complex on Saadiyat Island, offers an arriving diner all the upscale charm we expect – but do not always quite get – from high-end hotel restaurants.

The Sontaya restaurant serves up contemporary South-east Asian cuisine. Courtesy the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

The Sontaya restaurant serves up contemporary South-east Asian cuisine. Courtesy the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

As Sontaya offers South-east Asian cuisine, this takes the form here of sleek Asian-contemporary decor, a multinational staff to match, water views (in daytime, anyway) from every table and soothing Far Eastern elevator music.

But these pleasing elements fade into the background when your food arrives. The menu here is a short but remarkably rewarding choice of mouth-watering cookery, though it comes at eye-watering prices.

“South-east Asian” here means mainly Thai, and the chef Komsan Thongchaiprasit has added Thai touches to a cosmopolitan variety of raw materials, from Omani lobster to Wagyu short ribs. More info

Sontaya (www.sontayaabudhabi.com), at the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, is open daily from noon to 3pm and from 6.30pm to 11pm for last orders, closing at midnight. A meal for two cost Dh871 incluing service.

For reservations, call 02 498 8888 or email reservations.saadiyat@stregis.com.