Saadiyat Island

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Scale model of proposed Saadiyat Island development.

Saadiyat Island (Arabic: السعديات‎‎; as-saʿdiyyāt Happiness Island[citation needed]) is a large, low-lying island 500 metres (1,600 ft) off the coast of Abu Dhabi island in the UAE, and is currently under development.

A mixed commercial, residential, and leisure project is currently under construction on the island, expected to be completed in 2020. According to government officials[who?], Saadiyat Island is expected to become Abu Dhabi's cultural centre.

Saadiyat Island is a tourism-cultural project for nature and Emirati heritage and culture.


Saadiyat Island is being developed by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), an independent public joint stock company of which Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority is the sole shareholder. TDIC's strategy is to dispose of development land on the island to private investors who will each develop their sites in accordance with the masterplan and supporting planning regulations and design guidelines.[1][2]

The master plan for Saadiyat island was done by EDAW and continued under AECOM after its purchase of the company.

The Island is located 500 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi. This 27 square kilometer island planned and created around an environmentally-sensitive philosophy and low-density master plan. The main district in the island are Saaduyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Beach District and Saadiyat Marina District.

An entire district on the island is devoted to culture and the arts, with exhibitions, permanent collections, productions and performances.

The TDIC, founded in 2006 is the tourism asset management and development arm of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in order to drive investment and growth of the Emirate's tourism sector.[3]

Features and services[edit]

The island has several cultural institutions in Saadiyat Cultural District, including:

  • Zayed National Museum[4]
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi
  • Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
  • a performing arts center, including five theaters, an opera house and several arenas for musical concerts. The center also has an experimental theater, the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Academy with 3.557 square metres of space for educational activities about art, design, music and drama. The center also has shops and restaurants on a surface of 28.692 square metres.
  • a maritime museum, explaining the maritime ecosystem and heritage of Abu Dhabi and sea-related Emirati professions. The architecture of the museum reflects Emirati construction and decoration. The ceiling of the museum will picture the sky and the sea merging into one another. Wind as one of the natural factors that shape the history of the UAE in general will also be pictured. The main part of the project will be an underground basin, a traditional sailboat and the boat "Zayed Memorial" which crossed the Atlantic in 2007 for humanitarian purposes.[5]

Schools under development including the Redwood Saadiyat Nursery by the first Kids Group, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, and New York University Abu Dhabi by Mubadala Investment Company, providing education from pre-school to university level.

Development and labor conditions[edit]

In May 2009, Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction[6] issued a report accusing the contractors working on Saadiyat Island of violating the rights of workers on the site by charging them fees to obtain their work contracts, paying them less than they were promised, and holding their passports to prevent their resignation or departure.[7] The report also called on western partners (including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the French Museum Agency, and New York University) to seek contractual assurances that these violations would not continue once construction on facilities for those institutions was underway. The alleged violations of the workers' rights would also constitute violations of United Arab Emirates law.

The Saadiyat Accommodation Village is a modern housing community that was opened in 2009. The Village has a broad range of social, recreational and educational facilities for its residents, including multilingual libraries, computer and Internet access, banking facilities, prayer rooms, spacious dining halls, barbershops, food outlets, gymnasiums and a sporting area comprising for cricket pitches and basketball and tennis courts.[8]

Administrations, exercises and occasions were indroduced for inhabitants at the town including a free video-calling administrations with private stalls that occupants can use to reconnect with their families and talk in private. On a month to month premise, the town additionally witnesses sports competitions for football, cricket, volleyball and ball games. For as far back as three years, TDIC has additionally been working intimately with its staff volunteers to offer laborers English classes, with graduates services sorted out to perceive the understudies' accomplishments. These classes are for all specialists and for nothing out of pocket.

A document called Employment Practices Policy was executed to ensure the safety and fair treatment of workers on TDIC projects on the island. To ensure that the EPP is being implemented, TDIC appointed hired, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, an independent monitoring company, to ensure its implementation. A dedicated team makes constant visits and interviews at the Saadiyat Accommodation Village and on the site of TDIC projects. These findings are published by TDIC on an annual basis. It is an exercise that helps TDIC make enhancements, penalize breaches of the system and ensure the rights of workers are sustained.

Today, Saadiyat is home to a great many specialists who live on the Island while chipping away at the activities being produced by TDIC. It has been a need for TDIC to ensure that specialists are living in respectable conditions, working securely on their undertakings and are being dealt with decently. These 7,500 men from the poorest nations of southern Asia – from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines – live and rest in clearly Utopian solace when they are not working under the Gulf sun on the social dream ventures of Abu Dhabi's rulers: the Louver Museum and the Guggenheim, and the endless emporium worked to hold the workmanship fortunes of Sheik Khalifa canister Zayed al-Nahyan at the Zayed National Museum.

The European Union has sent several delegations to Saadiyat Accommodation Village to meet with representatives from the TDIC.[9]

Proposed districts[edit]

From the official website:[10]

  • Saadiyat Cultural District, with a total area 2.43 square kilometres (0.94 sq mi) is under construction, with plans for a £85 million Louvre museum set to open in 2015,[11] as well as a Guggenheim Abu Dhabi by Frank Gehry, the Sheikh Zayed National Museum by Foster + Partners, and a Performing Arts Centre by Zaha Hadid. The cultural district also includes an office park and commercial areas, and residential areas and hotels.
  • Saadiyat Marina has a total area of 3.7 square kilometres (1.4 sq mi), berthing for over 1,000 boats, hotels, apartments, leisure and entertainment including the Maritime Museum by Tadao Ando, commercial and retail space, and the New York University Abu Dhabi campus.
  • Saadiyat Beach has a total area of 4.33 square kilometres (1.67 sq mi), nine kilometers of beaches, five-star hotels and resorts, beach clubs, and Gary Player designed Championship golf course with residential accommodation.
  • Saadiyat Promenade is designed as a family resort, with a total area of 931 square metres (10,020 sq ft), including a beach, boardwalks with restaurants and cafes, leisure and entertainment.
  • Saadiyat Lagoons has a total area of 3.5 square kilometres (1.4 sq mi), with low-rise waterfront residences, and a tidal lagoon system.
  • Saadiyat Retreat has a total area of 750 square metres (8,100 sq ft), with hotels and residences.
  • Saadiyat Reserves has a total area of 4.68 square kilometres (1.81 sq mi), with a tidal golf course[clarification needed] designed by Trent Jones II, and low-rise waterside residences

List of primary contractors[edit]

The following are the primary contractors for Saadiyat Island:[citation needed]

  • Al Jaber for Villa.
  • HILALCO for Road and Infrastructures

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 24°32′09″N 54°26′33″E / 24.535781°N 54.442417°E / 24.535781; 54.442417