Latest News

Back to Latest News back


2026 opening date revealed for long delayed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

2026 opening date revealed for long delayed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
September 25, 2021

20 years after the project was first announced, it has been revealed that the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will open in 2026.

First announced in 2026, the Frank Gehry-designed attraction has been subject to successive delays, most recently due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Revealing the new opening date at a press briefing in Switzerland, Guggenheim Director Richard Armstrong told the Art Newspaper “we think it should be five years from next week.

“It looks like everything is coming together so we can say something definitive.

“It has been a relatively long gestation.”

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi was originally set to launch in 2012 on Saadiyat Island, before being moved to 2017. Pre-COVID, Armstrong said the institution would debut in 2022 or 2023.

Set to be the New York-based Guggenheim Foundation’s largest location, covering 30,000 metre², the project is being overseen by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.

Commenting on the delays, Armstrong added “our building is challenging; it will be his big, late masterpiece.”

On the effects of COVID-19, he noted that the museum has “come out as a better institution that is looking more to the future”, adding “we’ve had a very active acquisitions program for about 12 years now in the region and globally; it’ll be a museum that looks at the whole world from 1965.”

Abu Dhabi’s investment in culture
In June, Abu Dhabi pledged to invest US$6 billion in cultural and creative industries as part of the UAE’s ongoing efforts to diversify its economy away from oil.

This has included the development of museums on Saadiyat Island, which is already home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi with plans for a Zayed National Museum.

By contrast to Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is a primarily a leisure and destination, with offerings including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and Warner Bros World.

Developer Miral recently revealed that construction of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi on Yas Island is two thirds complete.

The National Aquarium is also opening this year in Abu Dhabi.

Image: Concept for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Related Articles

23rd August 2021 - SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to feature world’s largest aquarium

24th March 2021 - Abu Dhabi’s Miral introduces facial recognition at Yas Island theme parks

1st March 2021 - Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi to host female only International Women’s Day event

8th February 2021 - Ferrari World Abu Dhabi marks 1,000 experiences milestone for Roof Walk and Zip Line

15th December 2020 - Yas Island Abu Dhabi rewards frontline workers with visits to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2020 and attractions

23rd October 2020 - Ferrari World Abu Dhabi launches Roof Walk and Zip Line experiences

6th October 2020 - SeaWorld Abu Dhabi on track for 2022 completion

3rd September 2020 - Louvre Abu Dhabi announces free access for select groups can see the museum for free

31st August 2020 - Abu Dhabi Government advances ‘safe zone’ concept for large scale events

21st May 2020 - Abu Dhabi Government launches safe and clean certification program

31st December 2019 - Abu Dhabi National Museum edges towards 2021 opening

17th December 2019 - Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi gains confirmation as world’s largest indoor theme park

26th April 2019 - Delayed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project now set for 2022 opening

12th November 2017 - Louvre Abu Dhabi opens to the public

18th May 2017 - Officials insist Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be built

24th May 2016 - No start date for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project

11th June 2013 - Museums drive economic and cultural transformation

5th October 2011 - Guggenheim Abu Dhabi boycott ‘still in place’

6th April 2011 - Artists boycott Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project

8th September 2008 - Guggenheim Museum for Abu Dhabi

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play



Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues



Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing



AUSTRALIAN MADE. FIT FOR PURPOSE. Based on the Gold Coast, AlphaFit is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Australian gym equipment specifically for the commercial, strength and conditioning,…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues


State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see

read more



METRA Australia

With industry leading solutions in design and durability you can improve your facilities with our access control operations, payment systems and flexible personal locker storage solutions. Your…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business