Abu Dhabi’s culture club

If you think the Louvre is in Paris and the Guggenheim is in New York, think again. Both museums will soon be opening outposts at Saadiyat, an island just 500 metres (1,640 feet) off the coast of Abu Dhabi. If you love your art, you’ve got to hop-off here. You’ll find the Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island too.

But it’s not all art and culture. There is no better place to relax than under Saadiyat's palms, swaying in the ocean breeze. The beaches are pristine and there are lots of sports to try your hand at. In fact, the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is the region’s first beachfront course. No wonder more and more Abu Dhabi locals are choosing to live here.

A unique museum

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a work of art in itself. It’s designed by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel and based on key elements of Islamic and Arabic architecture. A geometric lace dome creates a rain of dappled light, while small, shaded passages make you feel like you’re walking through a traditional arabian souk.

Bliss on the beach

Feeling like a pick-me-up? Try meditative yoga on Saadiyat Public Beach. Or, if that’s too strenuous, just pull up a sun lounger and practice some ‘mindfulness’. The beach staff will make sure you have everything you need to eat and drink. And you can use the showers, changing rooms and lockers while you’re here.

Other interesting facts about Saadiyat Island

  • The marina has berthing for over 1,000 boats
  • There are 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) of natural beaches
  • The Performing Arts Centre here was designed by famous architect Zaha Hadid
  • The island is still under development, and is scheduled to be fully completed by 2020