Zayed National Museum

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Zayed National Museum
مَتْحَف زَايِد ٱلْوَطَنِي (in Arabic)
LocationSaadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Coordinates24°32′4.43″N 54°25′7.69″E / 24.5345639°N 54.4188028°E / 24.5345639; 54.4188028
TypeNational museum
DirectorDr. Peter Magee
ArchitectFoster + Partners
WebsiteZayed National Museum

Zayed National Museum (Arabic: مَتْحَف زَايِد ٱلْوَطَنِي, romanizedMatḥaf Zāyid Al-Waṭanī) is a planned museum, to be located in Abu Dhabi, the UAE. It is designed as a memorial to the late Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father and first president of the UAE.[1] The museum is planned to be the centrepiece of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District,[2] and will showcase the history, culture, and economic transformation of the Emirates.[3]

In 2021, it was announced that the construction, which was interrupted after Arabtec ceased operations, would be taken over by the companies BESIX Group and Trojan Contracting.[4] The museum is currently under construction and as of November 2021, its opening date is scheduled for 2025.[5]


The museum has been designed by Foster + Partners with five solar thermal towers that will act as chimneys to draw cool air through the building.[1] The towers are shaped like falcon wings to commemorate Zayed's love of falconry.[3]

In 2009, the Zayed National Museum signed a ten-year contract with the British Museum.[6] The British Museum would assist with curation and loan about 500 of its treasures to the Zayed National Museum. According to The New York Times, the British Museum thinks that it is unlikely that any items will be loaned under the current contract, which ends in 2019. In June 2018, a new partnership was announced between the British Museum and Zayed National Museum.[7] In July 2019, the archaeologist Dr. Peter Magee was appointed Director.[8]

Its opening has been delayed many times. Scheduled to be complete in 2012,[9] the opening was delayed to 2013,[8] and later 2021.[9]

As of November 2021, the museum is still under construction, with anticipated opening in 2025, coinciding with the opening of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.[5]


  1. ^ a b, Foster + Partners /. "Zayed National Museum | Foster + Partners". Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  2. ^ Zendera, Yamurai. "TDIC floats Zayed National Museum tender |". Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  3. ^ a b "Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi Building - e-architect". e-architect. 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  4. ^ "Abu Dhabi commits to long-awaited Guggenheim museum by 2025". Financial Times. 2021-10-01. Retrieved 2022-05-11.
  5. ^ a b "Abu Dhabi to Welcome Two New Museums in Addition to Guggenheim and Zayed". Retrieved 2022-05-17.
  6. ^ "British Museum to help launch Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi". eTurboNews. July 25, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  7. ^ "British Museum rekindles relationship with Zayed National Museum after loan deal ended last year". 21 June 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  8. ^ a b Somers Cocks, Anna (2021-04-08). "Abu Dhabi's next mega museum is back on track—now with a director". The Art Newspaper. Retrieved 2021-08-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ a b "Zayed National Museum set to open in 2021 following nine-year delay". Arabian Business. 2019-11-19. Retrieved 2021-08-15.

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