The Saadiyat island masterplan was aligned with the strategic goals of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, to diversify the economy of Abu Dhabi through the creation of an internationally renowned urban destination with culture and tourism amongst its primary features.

It revolved around six major conceptual themes: Art, Energy, Nature, Family, Pleasure and Memory. These themes intertwined to create a positive synergy and provide the Island with a coherent urban unity. Each theme was anchored within a specific district, to take advantage of the natural structure of the site.

The Cultural Canal Precinct was the heart of the Saadiyat Island cultural district. It contained a number of large plots planned primarily for residential and cultural functions as well as office, retail and commercial activities. RMJM’s team designed a major canal and quayside public realm with hotels placed in prime locations.

This was envisioned to be a premier area of leisure and culture where high quality design and development would be crucial to the success of the precinct and the island.

Location: Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Client: Tourism Development Investment Company

Sector: Mixed-use

Size: Site area: 345,000 sqm, GFA: 870,000 sqm

Status: Masterplan & Scheme Design Completed

Year: 2009

Scope: Lead Consultancy, Architecture