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trip to saadiyat island dubai

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The naturally formed Saadiyat Island is a popular attraction among tourists and residents alike. Covering an area of 27 square kilometers, the island offers several retreats and activities due to which hundreds of onlookers are seen flocking to the island. The island was taken up as a tourism-cultural project for nature and to showcase and preserve the Emirati heritage and culture in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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The vast low-lying island is located 500 meters off the shore of Abu Dhabi and is a seven-minute drive from downtown Abu Dhabi and 20 minutes from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. It is a commercial, residential, and leisure combined project that is expected to bring a huge number of patrons and become an economic hotspot. Saadiyat Island, in Arabic, means the island of happiness. It is expected to live up to its name as it is set to become Abu Dhabi’s cultural center. The island will be demarcated into seven separate districts that are supposed to accommodate over 1,45,000 people.

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Saadiyat Cultural District

The cultural district in Saadiyat island is located at the Western end of the island and accounts for not more than 10 percent of the area of the island. Limited to merely 2.43 square kilometers of area, it is the reason behind Saadiyat island being named as the cultural center of Abu Dhabi. It will house 8 large scale museums and the planning suggests over 85 million pounds will be spent on these projects. 

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Louvre Abu Dhabi 

The architectural phenomenon is the first universal museum of the Arab world. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the city’s most prized cultural institution which is packed with priceless artworks as well as temporary art exhibitions which span several thousand years. Iconic artworks of cultural and historical significance are on display that enriches the heritage of Saadiyat island. The museum has been designed by the Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel. French design has been merged with Arabic heritage to serve as a bridge between the East and the West. Artifacts from beliefs all over the world have been kept on display. After you’re done taking in the 9,200 square meter gallery you can take a break at the Parisian brasserie Fouquet. The menu, designed by Michelin star Chef Pierre Gagnaire, combines fusion with French cuisine and stars his signature dishes. Right below the floating cupola, you can take in the best sunset view that Abu Dhabi has to offer at this open-air terrace and bar. You can savour international tapas or choose from an extensive drinks menu to complement the view.

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Other than the Louvre Abu Dhabi you can visit 7 other museums in the cultural district. The Zayed National Museum links the development of Abu Dhabi to the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and encompasses the themes of education, conservation, sustainability, humanitarianism among others. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is another planned museum by Frank Gehry. Covering 30,000 square meters, it is one of the largest Guggenheim museums in the world. 

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Saadiyat Marina District

The main commercial area of the district is the Marinara or the Marinara district on Saadiyat Island. Spread over an area of 3.7 square kilometers the Marinara district will be able to boast of 1000 boats, hotels, apartments, leisure, and entertainment facilities. It will also be adorned by the Maritime Museum by Japan’s Tadao Ando, commercial and retail space open for use, and the New York University Abu Dhabi. The maritime museum will be devoted to explaining the maritime ecosystem, the heritage of Abu Dhabi, and maritime professions. It will include an underground basin, a traditional sailboat, and the boat ‘Zayed memorial’. Packed with facilities of all kinds suitable for people of all ages, visitors are bound to be spoilt for choice. The New York University branch was planned to move to Saadiyat Island Marinara district in 2014 from its provisional campus that was supposed to be set up in downtown Abu Dhabi.

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Saadiyat Beach

A visit to the Saadiyat island cannot be complete without dipping your feet into the cool waters of the Saadiyat beach. Take a stroll down the smooth white sand of the beach as you feel a sense of tranquillity. Bring out your adventurous side by signing up for activities like windsurfing, sailing, or a beach workout session. Or, you can settle down and take a peek at the nesting Hawksbill turtles that riddle the beach. An elevated boardwalk has been constructed so that your activity won’t disturb the peaceful creatures. You can even rent an apartment near the beach for a mesmerizing view.

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Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

The first of its kind in the region, the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club will make your experience even more luxurious. You can take in the breathtaking view while the dolphins splash around in the ocean waters and retreat in the club. With a 72-par golf course to its name, you will be tempted to make your Golf debut here. You can enjoy events on the spacious patio or unwind in the restaurants.

Manarat Al Saadiyat

A purpose-built visit center, the Manarat Al Saadiyat is something to look out for on your visit to the Saadiyat Island. It translates from Arabic to ‘a place of enlightenment’. Coming forward to bring alive the vision of Saadiyat, the Manarat Al Saadiyat is a permanently open-to-public exhibition. The visitors are welcomed by an interactive narrative on the history and culture of the island and the vision that led to such development in ‘The Saadiyat Story’. It showcases cultural displays, community events, and film screening throughout the year. Every piece was moved one by one from Shanghai when it welcomed about 2 million visitors to the UAE’s national exhibition during the World Expo 2010.

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You can savour dishes from the Mediterranean cuisines in premium restaurants dotted across the island. You can even give yourself the much-needed pampering over a long weekend by signing in to a five-star property on the island that will rejuvenate you with state-of-the-art facilities and a view of the sea. If shopping is your kind of therapy then you are in luck because The Collection offers the experience of shopping at an Arabian plaza while still getting you high-end quality. Saadiyat Island has an abundance of activities to keep you active and reenergized.

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