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. The Saadiyat Island Cultural District has been allocated as the site of location for the Zayed National Museum’s construction and it is designed to showcase the history, rich culture and socioeconomic transformation of the Emirates world. 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. A definite must visit if you’re looking for a sneak peek about the founding fathers of the UAE.
All About Zayed National Museum’s Architecture and Design
In November 2010, the designs for the Zayed National Museum were officially unveiled by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Designed by the landscape architect Atelier Dreiseitl and Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Foster + Partners, the museum is said to have five solar thermal towers acting as chimneys. The falcon wings shaped towers are designed in a way to honor the Sheikh's love for falconry and therefore appears as the feather of a falcon. A special indoor area is dedicated to a live display of hunting birds, one of the many hobbies of the Sheikh. Each steel feather rises up to an altitude of 125 meters, comprising of a gallery showcasing the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates.
The Zayed National Museum’s architectural feat aims to blend a highly efficient, contemporary form with traditional Arabic designs and bring forth a museum that is welcoming, sustainable and culturally rich. To commemorate Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and his love for nature, the museum is set within a landscaped garden, with a timeline on defining moments of his life.
Let’s dive into the interiors of the Zayed National Museum
Once you’ve purchased your tickets, you’ll cross over a picturesque bridge to enter the Zayed National Museum. The museum consists of seven permanent galleries located at the base of each tower as well as an exclusive exhibition program where you can look into the history, heritage, and culture of the UAE. Each gallery is inspired by the ideals of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan like his belief in education, heritage, conservation and culture, all derived from his humanitarianism and deep faith in the ideals of his country and men.
The museum also flaunts a collection of different spaces for performances. You’ll find a colossal auditorium lined with a variety of Emirati textiles, providing an evocative space for films and presentations. Make sure you don’t miss a show here if it coincides with your visit!
The lobby area covers more informal spaces for a variety of cafes, shops, and venues for music, dance and poetry readings. Round up in a circle and enjoy the atmosphere and extravaganza of traditional performances. You’ll feel like an Arab in the yesteryears.
The restaurant’s interior design draws the opulence and warmth of the Bedouin tent, with tastefully designed furnishings. The VIP spaces open onto a beautiful central courtyard, offering you a breathtaking view of the wind towers and museum in the foreground.
Zayed National Museum Opening Date
The Zayed National Museum is already under construction and the authorities have declared that a final timeline for the completion of the Museum will be announced when the building tenders have been awarded. It has been said that the Zayed National Museum will be built before the construction of the Guggenheim Museum.
Zayed National Museum Location
The Zayed National Museum which is being constructed on Saadiyat Island Cultural District is located 500 meters off the Abu Dhabi coastline and is the single largest multipurpose development in the Gulf. Seven districts have been arranged in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District which will also include the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a Performing Arts Center and Maritime Museum as well as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum. This development for the UAE is significant because this is the only place in the Middle East where the history of the entire region can be examined and it is very important that it is applicable for a proper understanding of the region’s history be made accessible for the public.
Directions to Zayed National Museum
Visitors can opt for public transport by bus or any other available options that are suitable public transportation alternatives that can be used to get to the museum. The transit lines that have routes that pass near the museum are Bus - 103, Bus - 11 and Bus - 56.
It is a 20-minute drive from the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi and a half an hour drive from the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Zayed National Museum Timings
Estimated opening hours: 9 AM to 6 PM. As the museum is still under construction, the ticket prices, opening date, and proper timings are yet to be announced.
Handy Tips For Your Zayed National Museum Visit
- While planning a trip to the Zayed National Museum, visitors can also visit the Corniche.
- Guests may take around 30 minutes to explore the Zayed National Museum.
- It is a 7 minute drive and a 9 minute walk to the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi which is situated amidst the Saadiyat Cultural District.
- There is also an option to visit a theatre within an art gallery in the locality named Manarat Al Saadiyat.
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