Saadiyat Island, United Arab Emirates, Asia
 
 
Year2004latitude: 24° 32'
longitude: 54° 26'
Period2004-2020
Initiator(s)Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC)
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)
Designer(s) / Architect(s)
Design organizationGensler and Buro Happold
Inhabitants
Target population145,000
Town websitehttp://www.saadiyat.ae/en/
Town related linkshttp://www.tdic.ae/en/project/projects/master-developments/saadiyat-island. html
http://www.gensler.com/#projects/230
http://www.burohappold.com/projects/project/louvre-abu-dhabi-77/
http://www.aecom.com/Internet/Search?s=saadiyat%20island%20abu%20dhabi#gsc. tab=0&gsc.q=saadiyat%20island%20abu%20dhabi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saadiyat_Island
http://www.zayednationalmuseum.ae/
Literature- “The Island of Happiness”: Exploitation of Migrant Workers on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Human Rights Watch, New York. 2009.
- Abdullah, Muhammad Morsy. The United Arab Emirates: A Modern History. New York, 1978.
- Cleveland, William L. and Martin Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East. 4th Ed. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. 2009.
- Elsheshtawy, Yasser. The Evolving Arab City: Tradition, Modernity and Urban Development. Routledge, New York. 2008.
- Jacob, George. Museum Design: The Future. Booksurge, Charleston. 2009.
- Michell, George, Ed. Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and Social Meaning. Thames and Hudson, London. 1978.
- Ragette, Friedrich. Traditional Domestic Achitecture of the Arab Region. American University of Sharjah. 2003.
- The Economist, Volume 352, Ed. 8126-8130 , 1999. p. 69
- The Report: Abu Dhabi 2009. Oxford Business Group, Dubai. 2009.

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New-Town-in-Town
Satellite
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy
Capital
Decentralization
Industrialization
Resettlement
Economic
 


source: Rachel Keeton




source: Rachel Keeton




source: Keeton; Rachel: Rising in the East, Contemporary New Towns in Asia. SUN architecture, Amsterdam 2011, 432 p. ISBN 978-9461-05-6832



Division
source: Keeton; Rachel: Rising in the East, Contemporary New Towns in Asia. SUN architecture, Amsterdam 2011, 432 p. ISBN 978-9461-05-6832




source: Keeton; Rachel: Rising in the East, Contemporary New Towns in Asia. SUN architecture, Amsterdam 2011, 432 p. ISBN 978-9461-05-6832



District map
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /masterplan/district-map. html



Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-cultural-distr ict.html



Louvre Abu Dhabi
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-cultural-distr ict.html



Louvre Abu Dhabi
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-cultural-distr ict.html



Performing Arts Museum
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-cultural-distr ict.html



Zayed National Museum
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-cultural-distr ict.html



Saadiyat Beach District
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-beach.html



Saadiyat Beach Villas
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Saadiyat Beach Villas
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Saadiyat Marina District
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-marina.html



Saadiyat District
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-marina.html



Saadiyat Reserve District
source: http://www.saadiyat.ae/en /media-centre/images/medi a-saadiyat-reserve.html



Contemporary villas
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Mediterranean villas
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Mediterranean interior
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Mediterranean interior
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Arabian interior
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Standard Arabian Villa
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Executive interior
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Executive interior
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Executive interior
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



Standard three-bedroom villa
source: http://www.tdic.ae/en/sec tion/media-center/image-g allery?searchyear=&search month=&searchkeyword=keyw ords+here...&mCategory=59 &Submit.x=7&Submit.y=6



source: http://m.gensler.com/project/saadiyat-island?grid=search&orderby=ordering_title&search_type=keyword&projects_keyword_ter


Saadiyat Island will be home to the densest collection of world-class culture on the planet. With a new Guggenheim designed by Frank Gehry, a Louvre designed by Jean Nouvel, a Maritime Museum by Tadao Ando and a performing arts center by Zaha Hadid, Saadiyat combines cultural attractions with Pritzer-prize winning architects. The new town hopes to capitalize on increased tourism and revamp Abu Dhabi’s international reputation.

Saadiyat Island is a multi-faceted, luxury island destination in the Persian Gulf. The island is five hundred offshore from the city of Abu Dhabi and houses the world’s architectonic masterpieces. This area offers a great variety of attractions to meet cultural, social, emotional and environmental expectations of its visitors and residents on the area of twenty-seven square kilometres.

Master plan
The original master plan was created to redevelop the desert wasteland in 2004. Two years later, the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), a developer of Abu Dhabi, commissioned the United States’ design and architecture firm Gensler to prepare a master plan for the new city of Saadiyat Island. The new city would come under the administration of Abu Dhabi and the plan would be created with the assistance of an international engineering consultancy based in South West England, Buro Happold. Buro Happold would be responsible for engineering and transport planning issues. By 2007, the master plan went successfully through an approval process and was attended by American AECOM Technology Corporation, who provided technical and management support services.

The island is divided into seven districts – Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Beach, Saadiyat Marina, Saadiyat Reserve, Saadiyat Promenade, Saadiyat Lagoons, and Saadiyat Retreat. Each district has a unique identity, catering to specific demographics (families, retired couples, cultural tourists, etc.) and offering exclusive amenities.

Saadyiat Cultural District is planned to be a home of global culture and the arts, attracting local, regional and international visitors by exclusive exhibitions, permanent collections, and performances. It is directly in line with the ‘Strategic 2030 Plan for Abu Dhabi’, which intends to transform the emirate into the tourism, art and cultural hub of the world.

Besides boutique hotels, luxury residents, and convenient environment for retail and commerce, the district is going to house four ‘copied’ monumental institutions designed by Pritzker Prize. The monumental institutions will include the Zayed National Museum by Foster + Partners, paying tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Middle East, causing the most controversy in the art world, with critics questioning the motives of the Louvre president and director Henri Loyrette, who was suspected of an auctioning of French culture ; a museum of global contemporary art and culture, the so-called Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, designed by Frank Gehry; and Zaha Hadid’s Performing Arts Centre of music, dance and theatre.

In the Saadiyat Beach District, there will be a mixed-use area on the northern coast of the island. Each residential neighbourhood will have a park, community facilities, a main village centre with a supermarket, restaurants and beauty salons. Individual neighbourhoods will also have a barbecue area, gym, tennis court and a 25-meterm swimming pool. Inside the gated community, these facilities take on the role of the traditional courtyard. The sporting and leisure areas become a place for social interaction and exchange.

Unlike some contemporary new towns in the Middle East, traditional Arabic influences are notably absent in the residential architecture. The so-called ‘Mediterranean Villa’, ‘Arabian Villa’ and ‘Contemporary Villa’ comprise the extent of aesthetic choice for housing in the district.

Saadiyat Marina is indeed the commercial and leisure heart of the island. The high density and high-rise area lies on the southwestern coast, closest to downtown Abu Dhabi. This part of the island is encircled by the highway on the eastern side, cutting it off from the more private and residential Lagoons, Retreat and Reserve. Waterfront hotels and restaurants line the marinas, along with office and entertainment facilities organized on a strict grid. The Marina and Cultural Districts are the two most densely built areas on the island. Across the twelve-lane highway, villas sprawl in massive gated yards and luxury residences dot the landscape, accompanied by sparkling private pools.

Saadiyat Reserve features an eighteen-hole golf course surrounded by luxurious villas and a boutique eco-hotel.

Saadiyat Promenade is billed as the island’s “main family destination”. White sand beaches, boardwalks, seaside cafes and restaurants, hotels and shops encourage a “beach lifestyle”.
Saadiyat Lagoons is a more upscale district sandwiched among the others, featuring private villas with individual jetties “in a secluded natural setting”.

Saadiyat Retreat is an even more isolated area, located at the furthest tip of the island and including boutique hotels and private residences. It is targeted for those, who want to escape from their eventful lives to peaceful environment of spas, retreat facilities and exclusive quarters.

Amidst the plans for luxury villas and extravagant cultural facilities, there are scattered claims of an overriding dedication to sustainable development, at least according to the Urban Planning Council’s website and Abu Dhabi‘s Plan 2030. Within this pledge, from the purely environmental perspective, the protection of mangrove plantations which represent a kind of enviro-engine, being a breeding and migratory habitat for a wide range of species. Moreover, trees help to counteract erosion along the shoreline.

Due to the size of the island, travel from one district to another will be dependent on an automobile traffic and light rail having the beginning in the downtown of Abu Dhabi, running across an already built bridge spanning a waterway between the cities.
Results/Current situation

Regardless of the world’s economic crisis, developer plans to invest $27 billion in the project. Thanks to this fact, Saadiyat represents the country’s largest single investment to date.
Saadiyat became a part of Abu Dhabi’s policy continuously striving to diversify the economy. (Nowadays, non-oil and gas GDP constitutes 64% of the UAE’s total GDP.)

The island, as a touristic destination, should bring ample opportunities for employment across the economic spectrum and add value to the region. Furthermore, as a new centre for art and education, it will also encourage innovation and push the emirate towards more knowledge based sectors.

As for the maintenance of sustainability, not everything goes hand in hand. Due to high temperatures, the island faces a drastic evaporation. For example, to keep water in freshwater lakes on a ‘green’, two trucks are necessary to bring water to refill the ponds every morning.

On the basis of Abu Dhabi’s investment in arts, the country has already changed this industry. However, some observers still have doubts about this conservative country’s ability to combine the nonconformity of the art world with Islamic values. Western art critics questioned whether the new Louvre would exhibit nudes (yes, it turns out), and after a British couple was jailed for kissing on Dubai’s beach, some would-be tourists are sceptical about possible social misunderstandings.

source: Rachel Keeton

2017 - disclaimer