Things to do in Abu Dhabi

Guide to Guggenheim Abu Dhabi| A narrative of art & history

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Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a museum of modern and contemporary art is all set to showcase the most important international artistic achievements of the 20th and 21st centuries. The collection will feature works of artists from across the globe in a variety of mediums produced since the 1960s. With a special emphasis on West Asian, North African and South Asian art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi aims to foster the interconnected nature of today’s art world, where cross-cultural sources of inspiration and transcultural exchange has become the standard .

Once completed, this museum will lend more cultural cred to Sadiyyat Island' already considerable clout - with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi, Berklee Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and more.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi - In a Nutshell

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi - Things to know

📍 Location:Saadiyat Island
😮 Inaugration:2025
🎟️ Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Tickets:Coming soon

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Address

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates
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What is Guggenheim Abu Dhabi?

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a transnational museum dedicated to contemporary art and culture and will showcase some of the most important artistic achievements the world has seen till date.

The museum was originally scheduled to open in 2012, however, construction has been delayed several times and it is predicted to open in 2022.

Quick Facts

  • Designed by Pritzer-prize winning architect Frank Gehry
  • The largest Guggenheim amongst the 3 others located in New York, Venice & Bilbao.
  • Developed in collaboration with The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  • 13,000 square metres of gallery space and 18,000 square metres of exhibition space
  • A 350-seat theatre, a library, a research centre and F&B and retail outlets

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Architecture

One of a kind architecture

Designed by Pritzer-prize winning architect Frank Gehry, Guggenheim's distinctive asymmetric cones are designed to emulate the UAE's ancient wind-towers, which both ventilate and shade the exterior in a fitting blend of Arabian tradition and modern design. These cones that surround the building act as both entrances to the museum and exterior exhibition spaces.

Surrounded almost entirely by water, the museum overlooks the gleaming waters of the Arabian Gulf and Saadiyat Cultural District making for a terrific view. This strategic position also serves as a manmade breakwater configured to protect the island’s pristine north beach zone.

The interiors are inspired by industrial studio spaces with a new gallery layout unlike conventional museum spaces. The layout is fashioned with a central atrium clusters of galleries layered over 4 floors, connected by glass catwalks bridges around a covered courtyard allowing for sui generis curatorial flexibility. This will be of tremendous help in organising exhibitions at dimensions like never before. The design also incorporates sustainable elements suitable to the region, with natural cooling and ventilation of covered courtyards derived from the concept of traditional wind towers found throughout the Middle East. Apart from its gallery space, the museum has an exhibition space of over 18,000sqm, alongside a 350-seater theater, an advanced conservation laboratory, and a library.

In summary, the Guggenheim building defines an avant-grande approach to the museum visitor experience and presents an innovative vision for viewing contemporary art in the context of a desert landscape. Though it is still under development, the

guggenheim abu dhabi

Image Courtesy : Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Exhibitions at Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will exhibit a collection of modern and contemporary art, from some of the most important creatives of the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibitions will have a special emphasis on West Asian, North African and South Asian art and will demonstrate “the interconnected nature of today’s art world, where cross-cultural sources of inspiration and transcultural exchange have become the norm.” One can expect a curation of individual artists and pieces around the history of art movements across time.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Tour Deconstructed

What can you expect on a Guggenheim Tour? Here's a short glimpse.

  • Unveil the curtains of the Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi and you will acquaint yourself with a distinct and diverse collection of contemporary art and visual culture, depicting local, regional, and international platforms.
  • Witness modern exhibits from across the world in this massive 3,20,000 square feet facility. These artworks display a whole spectrum of mediums, subjects and art interpretations, mainly from the 1960s to present day.
  • The boldness of contemporary art displayed here will be reconciled with conservative Muslim values and respect Abu Dhabi's culture and be in line with the national and Islamic heritage.
  • Being a transnational museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi aims to accentuate the importance of cultural exchange while remaining respectful towards the region’s culture and heritage
  • Explore various permanent collections alongside other intriguing exhibitions, educational programs and inspiring modern art on a grand scale.

A visit to Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is bound to leave you in awe with its stunning location, impressive architecture that seamlessly blends modern and traditional Arabian designs, and of course, the cross-disciplinary collection of contemporary art.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Opening Hours

Since the museum is not open as yet, the daily timings cannot be ascertained.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Location

The Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi is located in the Saadiyat Cultural District – UAE’s ultimate cultural hub offering an assortment of cultural institutions. The museum elegantly complements the district’s overall artsy space, which is currently home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum, Manarat Al Saadiyat and many such cultural delights.

Getting to Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

  • By Bus : Bus - 10, Bus - 103, Bus - 11 have stops near Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
  • By Car : To see driving directions to Guggenheim Abu Dhabi from your location, click here.

Things to do around Guggenheim Museum

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a artistic treasure trove, with twenty galleries that take you through twelve chronological chapters as you travel through centuries of world civilization. As the largest art and culture museum of its kind in the Arab world, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was conceptualised to embody the similarities that cut across centuries and traditions in different parts of the world.

Zayed National Museum

The Zayed National Museum is set to be designed as a monument in Abu Dhabi by the year 2020, a tribute to the country’s late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates. This museum aims to blur the boundaries and serve as an important site of learning and cultural exchange for the visitors and residents of the UAE.

Manarat Al Saadiyat

Manarat Al Saadiyat is the place and space in Abu Dhabi for art, cultural activities and community events; for all kinds of creative artistic expression. It was built with an aim to create a vibrant, experimental community where one can be part of a cultural experience that is inspired by diverse public programmes including exhibitions - from both international and UAE artists.

NYUAD Art Gallery

The NYUAD Art Gallery is an intimate museum space in a university setting. Modeled on the academic museums of the US, the curatorial program explores locally relevant and internationally significant subjects. This model of scholarly, experimental, non-commercial art exhibitions complements and enhances the region’s fast-growing cultural ecosystem.

Guggenheim Museum Abu Dhabi - FAQS

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Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Guide