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Abu Dhabi’s new museum district: a Guggenheim, a Louvre, two starchitects and an artists’ uproar

Artists rendering of the Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in September 2013, is being developed alongside the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island, as part of the $27 billion art and culture project, the Saadiyat Cultural District.
A tender was recently issued for the main construction contract on the Louvre Abu Dhabi, by the Tourism Development and Investment Council (TDIC). The contract is to be awarded in June.
The Louvre and the Guggenheim will be spin offs of their counterparts in Paris and New York. The Zayed National Museum will relate the story of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the history of the region.
The architect for the Louvre Abu Dhabi is Jean Nouvel; for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Frank Gehry. The openings of the Zayed Museum and the Guggenheim are projected for 2014.
A group of 130 artists has announced a boycott of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, citing worker abuses. See story in New York Times.
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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