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Carole Schmitz


Abu Dahbi: Between Tradition and Modernity

“A tree does not grow in the desert unless it is planted,” said Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan El Hor Al Nahyane, founder of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, which he led until his death in 2004. A saying that is true with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is just celebrating its 5th anniversary, a good opportunity to discover this little jewel designed by Jean Nouvel on the island of Saadiyat. But also to let yourself be seduced by this land full of contrasts where dizzying buildings rub shoulders with an immense desert.

If the country is known for its oil wealth, it also displays today real cultural ambitions with the will to promote arts and cultures of the world. After the Louvre, it will be the turn of the Guggenheim to open its doors in 2025. A pharaonic project imagined, of course, by Frank Gehry. Not to mention the Performing Art and Conference Center by Zaha HAdid, the Maritime Museum by Tadao Ando and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum by Norman. Alongside these large buildings, many galleries have sprung up, such as Warehouse 421, which occupy industrial spaces and welcome many emerging artists.

Another visit is necessary, that of the Sheikh Zayed mosque, the emblematic monument of the city and especially one of the largest mosques in the world: 80 domes supported by 1000 marble columns. The place is splendid Construction, fruit of a cultural collaboration, its structure is majestic. Designed and built by talented teams from all over the world, this place is a true cultural haven as desired by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Another place, another atmosphere, towards the island of Sir Bani Yas, a magical and pure place where the Arabian Wilde Life Park is located. This huge reserve is home to thousands of wild animals and millions of trees and plants… the ideal destination for adventure and natural discovery lovers. But that will be for another trip!

Carole Schmitz

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