View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Abu Dhabi’s Attention-Grabbing Architecture

Abu Dhabi-Dubai Rivalry
A recent article (13 December 2007) in Business Week entitled ‘Abu Dhabi Builds Architectural Cred’ has surveyed the emerging architectural designs in Abu Dhabi.

Reena Jana believes that architecture in the Emirati capital rivals anything that Dubai has erected but she is swift to highlight some of the distinguishing features of Abu Dhabi architecture.

Abu Dhabi Going Greener
AD is marking itself as an environmentally friendly city as it is undertaking an analysis of how it squares up against international green building procedures, it is establishing its own government-backed Green Building Guidelines and it is creating Masdar to be the first zero-carbon city in the world.

Abu Dhabi Going Solar
Jana reflects on the paradox of the oil-rich city investing heavily in solar-powered technologies. Is this a genuine commitment to going green or a long term plan to prepare for life when the oil wells are dry?

Abu Dhabi Attention-Grabbing
Abu Dhabi is making great strides to attract investors and tourists and, with such projects as its branch of the Louvre and a Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi is staking its future on culture and the architectural feats that will house the treasures.

Not all commentators are convinced of the rightness of this strategy of importing treasures and hiring western architects to design buildings for the Middle East.

See Reena Jana’s article further for detail.

Abu Dhabi Architecture in Pictures
Check out the slide show of new and upcoming architecture in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Zaha Hadid, the Middle East-born, London-based architect, has designed this 62-meter-tall Performing Arts Center that promises to be larger than London's Royal Albert Hall—by more than 1,000 seats. Hadid designed the space with another Saadiyat Island destination due to open within five years. It will hold five theaters created to appear like fruit on a vine.