The example of cosmopolitanism
Since its foundation, from the joining of seven emirates in 1971, the United Arab Emirates have witnessed major social, political and cultural reforms. The country opened up to international cultural influences and became an example of cosmopolitism in the Gulf region. In addition to encouraging rapid modernisation, the state leaders also provided increasing support to the arts and, in 2007, adopted a decision to construct three museums of major global significance in Abu Dhabi; on the Island of Saadiyat. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim (12 times the size of the original in New York) and the Zayed National Museum are now under construction. The Louvre is expected to be the first to open. Although the opening was originally planned to take place much earlier, and it was rescheduled for 2016, the global financial crisis and the major, construction industry boom set the project back by causing a shortage of labour. The opening is now projected to take place in 2017.