Seven New Wonders of the Muslim WorldSince the conquest of Spain, Muslim empires have enriched the global architectural landscape, notably with mosques, shrines, and tombs. Now, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have ramped up building efforts, sharpening the cutting edge of functional design, pushing the boundaries of man-made structures to new heights, and new angles.
Recent news regarding the Capital Gate Tower in Abu Dhabi, whose 18-degree incline beats Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa as world’s “leaningest” tower brings the spotlight yet again to groundbreaking UAE architectural innovation. And it’s no surprise that luxury headliners like Gucci and Armani are more frequently choosing the UAE as the anchor for their flagship hotels and other ventures.
Here is a look at the skyline race between Abu Dhabi and Dubai
Seven New Wonders of the Muslim World, newly-built and under-construction.
1. Capital Gate Tower (Abu Dhabi) – as mentioned, the 525-foot tower, certainly not the tallest, has taken the Guiness World Record for “furthest-leaning man-made tower.”
2. Burj Khalifa (Dubai) – At 2717 feet, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa (taller than 2 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other) made headlines last year as the newly crowned World’s Tallest Building. The building made headlines again this week as it listed luxury studio rents at $38,000/year (still cheaper than a standard luxury studio in New York by about 20%).
3 & 4. Palm Island & World Islands (Dubai) – Among the several man-made island structures in Dubai’s shoreline, the two most ambitious are The Palm Island, shaped like a palm tree and reaching several miles into the Persian Gulf, and The World islands, an artificial archipelago of islands in the shape of the world’s various countries. While The Palm Island has enjoyed more development on its shores than the sometimes financially-troubled World Islands, both deserve mention if only for their vision and scope.
The momentum of these pioneering structures in the Muslim world promises a bright and brilliant future for architectural innovation. Already announced in the UAE are several unprecedented structures planned for completion in the coming few years.
Look out, Dubai! It looks like Abu Dhabi is pulling ahead in the innovation game!
Abu Dhabi – Carbon-Neutral and Cultural Icon
Stretching beyond hotels, resorts, offices, and shopping arenas, Abu Dhabi has demonstrated strong patronage of “Green” building, with its planned “sustainable skyscraper”, the Tameer Towers, and its Masdar Development, a carbon-neutral six million square meter city center.
Another step that boosting Abu Dhabi’s image is its commitment to cultural instititions. Over the next three years, Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island will become home to several cultural institutions unparalleled in scope, pedigree, and cutting-edge design.
Here is a look at the three main cultural projects planned in Abu Dhabi that will further revolutionize the Muslim world, and the world at large.
5. The Louvre Abu Dhabi – gainfully affiliated with the Louvre in Paris, the 260,000 square foot Louvre Abu Dhabi promises to be a museum of epic proportions and novel style. Planned for a 2012 opening, the museum’s administration plans to use the partnership to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western art.
6. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – Scheduled to open in 2012, the 450,000 square foot museum will be the largest Guggenheim in the world. The museum has been designed by famed achitect Frank Gehry (also behind the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, and The Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA).
7. Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center - To be designed by world famous architect Zaha Hadid, the five-theatre center will also sit on Sadaayat Island along with the new Louvre and Guggenheim Museums. The music hall, concert hall, opera house, drama theatre, and open theatre will be sure to attract artists and audiences from around the globe.