Staff training key for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

The Tourism Development & Investment Company (TIDC) - the asset management and development arm of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) - has agreed an operating framework with the New York-based Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation for the planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which reveals a significant focus on staff mentoring and education.

The Tourism Development & Investment Company (TIDC) - the asset management and development arm of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) - has agreed an operating framework with the New York-based Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation for the planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which reveals a significant focus on staff mentoring and education.

Plans include the formation of a ‘museum operating body' comprising up to 300 employees, including UAE nationals, who will undergo a range of training in various competencies.

The agreement was signed in New York by Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and William Mack, chairman, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation before a celebration attended by cultural and political figures from the city and an official delegation from Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Sultan said: "This inclusive approach is very important to us because our aim is not only to provide a world-class cultural asset for the emirate, but also to foster a culture of arts appreciation and create new career prospects for our nationals. To achieve this, we have to embark on a continuous educational programme and we are doing this with the Foundation's support."

Museum staff will undergo training as curators, curatorial assistants, registrars and specialist handlers and specialised security. The Guggenheim Foundation will also collaborate with the museum operating body on implementing an educational programme suitable for UAE schools and universities.

The operating agreement has been established for 20 years - five years for design development and construction, plus the first 15 years of museum operations - and may be renewed in 2027.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, to be designed by internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, will be the world's largest Guggenheim with a proposed area of 450,000ft². It will form part of Saadiyat Island's Cultural District.

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