By Lubna Hamdan
Construction is under way on the long-awaited museum on Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi’s long-awaited Zayed National Museum, which was slated to open in 2012, will finally open its doors in 2021, according to the Department of Culture and Tourism.
Video footage released by the DCT shows construction progress on the 44,000 square metre museum, which was announced in 2007 as one of three major museums planned for Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District - the adjacent Louvre Abu Dhabi opened in 2017 while construction on the neighbouring Guggenheim is yet to begin.
The museum's opening date was revealed following a site visit by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, last week.
“Construction is under way on Zayed National Museum, the national museum of the UAE, which will narrate the story of the late Sheikh Zayed, the founding Father of the UAE, and highlight the history of the region and its cultural connections with countries around the world,” DCT said in a statement.
The Zayed National Museum’s design, by acclaimed UK architects Foster and Partners, revolves around a striking cluster of five soaring steel towers inspired by the wings of the falcon – the UAE’s national symbol.
The building’s ground floor will boast two galleries showcasing the life of UAE founder Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, while the first floor will feature four pod-shaped galleries detailing the history of the country.
The museum’s collection will include the oldest pearl in the world, which was found on Marawah Island last year, as well as a necklace given by Sheikh Zayed to Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum during her visit to Abu Dhabi in 1971.
It will also display national collections and loans from leading world museums, according to DCT.
Moreover, the museum will give “special attention to public education, with an educational programme currently being developed in alignment with the UAE’s school curriculum. Zayed National Museum will also function as a centre for archaeological and heritage research,” DCT said in a statement.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.