With the recent inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, all eyes are on the United Arab Emirates. Years in the making, the Louvre is a landmark monument by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel on Saadiyat Island (construction alone cost 580 million euros, or nearly $689 million). Back in 2012 we scoped out the site, noting Abu Dhabi’s efforts to create a cultural hub in the Middle East by transforming Saadiyat Island into a hot spot for international culture vultures.
The ambition was for Saadiyat Island to have the world’s largest concentration of cultural institutions—created by Pritzker prize-winning architects Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando and Zaha Hadid. With the new Louvre—the only international outpost of the world’s most famous museum—Abu Dhabi is well on its way.
Saadiyat Island is also a place of great natural beauty, with enticing beaches, luxury hotels like the St. Regis and Park Hyatt, plus trendy beach clubs like the Saadiyat Beach Club.
Soon Saadiyat Island will also be home to a new Jumeriah Hotel. Located on the island’s northeastern coast, the Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort will have 294 guestrooms including spa suites, presidential suites and private villas. F&B concepts will include gourmet restaurants, a beach outlet, a lobby lounge and an all-day dining venue. We hear the beach resort—originally scheduled to open in 2017—will now open in 2018.
Jumeirah is, in fact, in the midst of a robust expansion, with new properties in the pipeline around the globe. In addition to the Abu Dhabi hotel, Jumeirah will debut hotels in Bali, China and Muscat in 2018.