Courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company

Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi

15 of 27

In the sky-high race for urban dominance, Dubai is leaving the rest of the world in the dust (or, rather, the sand). The Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island is being engineered as a leading cultural district, thanks to five Pritzker Prize-winning architects. In the works: the Zayed National Museum, a Foster + Partners design of tilted steel towers inspired by the flight of a falcon; the Jean Nouvel–designed Louvre Abu Dhabi in a domed building perforated with a lattice design that filters sunlight; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, whose madcap look is pure Frank Gehry; and a Performing Arts Centre of swooping, sinuous lines from Zaha Hadid. The Louvre is slated to open first, and the entire island will eventually house about 145,000 people.

Launch Date: 2015 (the Louvre).

World's Coolest Futuristic Buildings

Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi

In the sky-high race for urban dominance, Dubai is leaving the rest of the world in the dust (or, rather, the sand). The Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island is being engineered as a leading cultural district, thanks to five Pritzker Prize-winning architects. In the works: the Zayed National Museum, a Foster + Partners design of tilted steel towers inspired by the flight of a falcon; the Jean Nouvel–designed Louvre Abu Dhabi in a domed building perforated with a lattice design that filters sunlight; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, whose madcap look is pure Frank Gehry; and a Performing Arts Centre of swooping, sinuous lines from Zaha Hadid. The Louvre is slated to open first, and the entire island will eventually house about 145,000 people.

Launch Date: 2015 (the Louvre).

Courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company

World's Coolest Futuristic Buildings

Explore More