T+L Design Awards 2012
H. E. Mubarak Hamad al Muhairi
This is an exhilarating design moment in Abu Dhabi, where spectacular buildings by an all-star roster of architects—from Frank Gehry to Zaha Hadid—are currently taking shape. The moving force behind the city’s transformation has been this year’s Design Champion, H. E. Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Tourism Development and Investment Company. He has spearheaded efforts to grow the city in a thoughtful and sustainable fashion and, more fundamentally, to invest in art and design as the touchstones of its expanding tourism business. Major art museums and cultural institutions, including branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim, are in the works. The daring cosmopolitanism of Abu Dhabi has opened a window to a new “it” destination: a cultural and design capital in the making.