Move Over, Dubai

Posted by Siobhan O'Connor

Abu Dhabi is bridging the gap to the west with by bringing art (and biopsies, and Econ 101 classes) to its own shores.

1. The LouvreIt's still unclear where the Mona Lisa's going to live, but one thing is certain: By 2012, Abu Dhabi will have its very own Louvre, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The Emirate forked over $520 million just for the name, and is paying France another $700 million-plus in consulting and execution.2. New York University In the fall of 2010, NYUAD will join La Sorbonne as prestigious universities creating eastern facsimiles of themselves. Touted as the first liberal arts and science college of its caliber in the east, NUYAD It will open on Saadiyat Island with 2,000 students in fall 2010, with unrestricted curricula.3. The Cleveland ClinicThe world-class cancer hospital brings its expertise to a space-age-looking outpost in Abu Dhabi, slated to open in 2011. It will start with 360 beds, scalable to 490, and all doctors will be western-trained. Now, the superrich have another reason to head for AD and never leave.4. The Guggenheim Aiming to be the first ever museum of global contemporary art, this $780 million behemoth will be the Guggenheim's sixth. Its director-poached from the New York homebase-calls the thing "pharonic," promising art space as well as hotels, golf courses and residential units. And it wouldn't befit the locale if it wasn't the largest Guggenheim on earth: 452,000 square feet designed by- who else?-Frank Gehry.5. Sotheby's and Christie's Auction HousesFollowing a growing demand from Middle East collectors and continuing the trend of arthouses in the Emirates, big-money auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's have already started exhibitions and sales in Abu Dhabi, as well as its trailblazing cousin Dubai.