Manarat Al Saadiyat was the first building to be opened on Saadiyat Island and the first part of the jigsaw for the new Saadiyat Cultural District.
Completed in 2009, Manarat Al Saadiyat opened to the public and showcased a multitude of diverse exhibitions, including:
November 2009 - 20 March 2010: Disorientation II: The Rise and Fall of Arab Cities
The exhibition showcased a selection of work from artists from Middle Eastern countries and discussed important issues of Arab cities and their dynamic histories. The exhibition was a collaboration between the Department of Culture and Tourism and the Sharjah Foundation.
September 2010 – January 2011: RSTW from the Private Collection of Larry Gagosian
An exhibition which showcased a selection of artwork from the private collection of Larry Gagosian, including Post-War works by Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Twombly, Warhol, and Wool.
March – June 2011: Splendours of Mesopotamia
A survey of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia, featuring objects from the British Museum and Al Ain National Museum, focusing on the three great centres: Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon.
October 2011 –January 2012 - Emirati Expressions II
A photography exhibit which expanded the theme ‘movement of thought’ from Emirati Expressions (2009), through a showcase of 10 Emirati photographers, and commissioned work by Stephen Shore, JR, and Tarek Al Ghoussein.
April –July 2012 - Treasures of the World's Cultures
A collaboration between Department of Culture and Tourism and the British Museum, this exhibition included over 250 objects curated around themes such as leadership, heritage and faith.
September 2012 – September 2013 - Eco Future
Eco Future was a family focused exhibition that gave glimpses of a world in 2050 and explored how the human beings will all survive on a changing planet.
November 2012 – January 2013 - Art, Talks & Sensations: Island Artists A Game of Life Organised by Department of Culture and Tourism, and inspired by the architecture of the UAE Pavilion and the surrounding panorama, Art Talks and Sensations exhibition invited visitors to discover artists who have reflected on the theme of the “island”, while offering a different view of the landscape of contemporary art.
April 2013- August 2013 - The Birth of a Museum
The first presentation of the permanent collection of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, reflecting the narrative of the universal theme that characterizes the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The exhibition was presented. by Department of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with Agence France -Museums.
October 2013 – February 2014 - Emirati Expressions: Realised Emirati Expressions 2013 edition aimed to build on the foundations the previous Emirati Expressions editions by supporting artistic production through the commissioning of new work in a variety of medium.
April– August 2014 - A History of the World in 100 Objects
A groundbreaking exhibition capturing the history of the world through a compelling story of objects, offering a flavour of the Zayed National Museum, presented as the national museum of the United Arab Emirates
May–August 2014 - Emirates Photography Exhibition
Divided into three parts, the Emirates Photography Exhibition had a shared focus on documentary photography.
November 2014 – March 2015 - Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s exhibition introduced the future museum’s curatorial vision through a theme-based collection presentation which examined the theme of light as a primary aesthetic principle in art.
June 2015 Louvre Abu Dhabi Stories: Al Qalam
A small scale exhibition which explored the art and development of the written word, featuring a broad selection of textual artworks from the Louvre Abu Dhabi collection.
November; annually - Abu Dhabi Art
Abu Dhabi Art brings together the best collectors, art connoisseurs and artists from around the world for an exploration of a new concept of fair combining. unique exhibitions, multi-media performances, educational presentations and cultural tours and events.
March - July 2017 - The Creative Act: Performance• Process• Presence
The second edition of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection featured more than 25 works in a variety of media—installation, painting, photography, sculpture, video, and works on paper, representing more than 24 artists. The exhibition focused on the related themes of performance, process, and presence.
8 December, 2017 - MASMash
‘MASmash’ is a gathering of all things interesting - from art, music to showbiz #InAbuDhabi! Catch comedians, calligraphy artists, Parkour practitioners and musicians all under one roof with the sole purpose of entertaining you.
23 November - 7 January - Comic Craze
Comic Craze is an exhibition that brings together talented artists from the UAE to shed light on the ingenuity behind the creation of satirical, comic and critical cartoons.
29 November - 7 January - A Touch of Heritage
In celebration of National Day, this exhibition focuses on various aspects of the UAE that are integral to the lives of the people, highlighted through the art forms on display.
15 January 2018 - 20 January 2018 - Visions of Sustainability
A first-of-its-kind exhibit in the UAE, Visions of Sustainability is a week-long celebration of visionary perspectives on renewable energy, environmentally conscious design, and sustainability.