Easily accessible from downtown Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island is poised to become a dynamic cultural destination. After all, you’ll find some of the world’s leading architects and institutions represented here: Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi; Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Zaha Hadid’s Performing Arts Centre; and Foster & Partner’s Zayed National Museum. Complementing that impressive roster is the year-round program of arts events associated with the annual fair Abu Dhabi Art and the recent debut of Warehouse 421, a contemporary gallery on a neighboring island that focuses on local and regional talents. And to help groom the next generation, New York University chose Saadiyat (which translates to Island of Happiness or Enlightenment) for its Abu Dhabi campus.
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Saadiyat Island’s Manmade and Natural Appeal
Soon-to-be-open world-class museums like Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi vie for your attention on Saadiyat Island, developed to be a leading arts hub, with shops and upscale hotels to boot. Yet the island still has a wild side. The 5.5-mile beachfront is home to the endangered Hawksbill turtle. Since the Hawksbill turtle conservation program launched in 2010, some 1,100 turtles have hatched. Steps are taken every year during hatching season (late spring/early summer) to ensure the safety of the turtles, such as reduced night lighting and elevated boardwalks that don’t disturb the sand.