Photo reveals Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi rising from the sands

The major project in the capital's Saadiyat Cultural District is now 25% complete, say tourism chiefs

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A photograph has revealed huge progress in the construction of the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi.

The cultural institution is being built on Saadiyat Island and the image released on Monday by the emirate's tourism chiefs shows the building rising from the sands.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and Miral, the museum's developer, said the project, which covers 35,000 square metres, was now 25 per cent complete.

UAE-based construction group Alec was appointed as main contractor earlier this year.

When opened, the museum will aim to bring visitors on a 14-billion-year journey through time and space from the origins of our universe to the Earth’s future.

“The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi will bring a new dimension of educational discovery to the Abu Dhabi community, as an entirely unique cultural attraction that offers visitors and residents endless inspiration," said Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

"With work now under way on this pioneering institution, the realisation of our vision for the Saadiyat Cultural District moves one step closer."

Tourism chiefs said the museum is due to be completed at the end of 2025. Highlights will include “Stan”, the world-famous 11.7 metre-tall Tyrannosaurus rex that is one of the best-preserved fossils of the late Cretaceous period predator and the Murchison meteorite, which landed in Australia in 1969. The museum will also have a scientific research centre.

The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi was designed by architecture firm Mecanoo and its shapes reflect natural rock formations. Mohamed Al Zaabi, the chief executive of Miral, said the museum would be an "iconic cultural landmark".

"The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi will provide visitors with an enriching cultural experience to help position Saadiyat as the destination of choice and Abu Dhabi as a centre for culture, arts and creativity," Mr Al Zaabi said.

"It also supports achieving Saadiyat Vision 2025, which aims to grow domestic, regional and global visitor numbers, supporting the development of Abu Dhabi’s tourism ecosystem.”

The museum is located in the Saadiyat Cultural District, which is also home to Louvre Abu Dhabi.

It will soon welcome the Zayed National Museum, the national museum of the UAE; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, focusing on global modern and contemporary art; and the Abrahamic Family House, comprised of a mosque, a synagogue and a church to promote interfaith tolerance.

Updated: October 24, 2022, 3:23 PM