Frank Gehry’s Sculptural Guggenheim Museum Is Coming to Abu Dhabi in 2026

The Guggenheim Foundation has revealed that its Frank Gehry-designed art museum in the United Arab Emirates is “on track” to complete in four years time.

Situated next to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the sculptural project will showcase art from around the world within a mountain of plaster blocks and self-cooling translucent cones.

One of Frank Gehry’s most-anticipated projects to date, the $200 million Guggenheim Abu Dhabi satellite museum, has been pushed back numerous times over the years.

First announced in 2006 and scheduled to open in 2012, the long-awaited project has suffered many ups and downs. A new opening date was set for 2017, which obviously didn’t happen.

The long-awaited Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will open in five years, said the institution’s director Richard Armstrong at a press briefing held today in Basel.

“It looks like everything is coming together, so we can say something definitive. It has been a relatively long gestation.”

The new museum will complete the cultural segment of Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, which includes Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi and a planned performing art center from Zaha Hadid.

The structure, described by Gehry himself as an ‘intentionally ‘messy’, moving into clarity’, will also have an education center and a 350-seat theater, where the museum will offer a wide-ranging educational and performing arts program, allowing for a wide variety of live programs including lectures, panels, symposia, music recitals, theater productions, film viewings, and performance.

The museum’s collection will encompass art in all mediums produced around the world from the 1960s to the present day, and it aims to be a catalyst for scholarship in a variety of fields, including the history of art in the Middle East in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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