Cultural policy Heritage United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi combines tourism and culture authorities

The new super-agency will keep the same assets and staff of the two groups

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage's new multi-purpose art storage facilities on the ground floor of the National Archive Building in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of Abu Dhabi, one of the emirates leading the cultural push in the Gulf, is combining the country's existing authorities for tourism, culture and heritage to create one super-agency. The new Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture will retain the assets, mandates and staff of the two agencies, according to the state-run Gulf News. “The establishment of the Authority is part of the plan for tourism development in Abu Dhabi, where the local heritage is considered to be central to tourism development in the emirate,” the report says.

Earlier this month, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage announced the opening of “state-of-the-art storage facilities” on the ground floor of the National Archive Building in Abu Dhabi. The multi-purpose facilities were constructed to “safeguard, manage, and enhance national heritage”, and conform to international standards approved by Unesco, the authority says in a news release. The building will “accommodate a wide array of collections, such as paintings, drawings on paper and on canvas, manuscripts, photographic materials, sculptures, traditional objects. It provides a digitization station for manuscripts, archives, and photographic materials. The refurbished storage will not only accommodate existing ADACH collections, but it will also provide storage solutions for future acquisitions to safely host various formats, sizes, and mediums.”

The news further rebuffs rumours that museum projects on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island—including plans for branches of the Guggenheim and the Louvre—are faltering. Last month, the state owned Tourism Development and Investment Company announced an opening in 2017 for the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, while the Jean Nouvel-design Louvre Abu Dhabi is due to open in 2015, a year later than originally planned.

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