Rafael Viñoly and his team started work on the New York University Abu Dhabi campus in 2008. His perspective gives us unique insight into the architecture of the UAE capital and why he finds Abu Dhabi captivating.
How Abu Dhabi became the Middle East’s new culture capital. Things move quickly in Abu Dhabi. At the start of 2010, the city’s National Theatre was the only long-standing cultural institution still open in the UAE capital. Just ten years later, the city now has the Louvre Abu Dhabi that offers a world-class exhibition space to artists and art collections. The last decade in the emirate has witnessed the most cultural of transformations, and things show no sign of slowing down. As New Year’s fireworks lit up Saadiyat Island, also at the start of 2020, flickers of a brave new world could be seen across its ‘Cultural District’, where the new Zayed National Museum is being built, and plans for a 30,000-square-metre Guggenheim museum are underway. It just goes to show how fast things are changing here, with each new opening being a piece in a jigsaw that is arguably turning Abu Dhabi into the newest capital for the arts in the Middle East.