Construction to begin in early 2013 on Louvre Abu Dhabi

On a recent trip back to Abu Dhabi, it was announced that the first Louvre outside of Paris will soon begin construction in the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, showing that the oil-rich emirate is still ahead of much of the world’s economic woes. The joint venture between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France for the right to use the Louvre name for 30 years were signed in March 2007. Louvre Abu Dhabi will display fine art and other rare artifacts of historical, cultural and sociological significance – many objects to be shared with several renowned Paris museums.

The museum, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, will be joined in the Cultural District at a future date by a Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum, the world’s largest; a Performing Arts Centre by architect Zaha Hadid; the Zayed National Museum by London-based architects Foster & Partners; and a number of luxury hotels.

Construction is forecast to be completed in late 2015 at an estimated cost of US$233 million.

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