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The Abu Dhabi cultural district, which will be on Saadiyat Island, a natural island just offshore from the capital, will likely include a branch of the Louvre, representing the classic arts, along with a national museum, a performing arts center, a maritime museum and a biennale park with 19 pavilions for alternating art and architecture biennales. In addition to the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Millinger has been involved in the preliminary master planning of the entire cultural district. "It's important to integrate these institutions so that they operate as a unified whole," he notes.
So these days, the Penn Law alumnus often finds himself interacting with members of Abu Dhabi's royal family, who are the impetus behind the planning.
"This is a place where tremendous exoticism and modernity coexist, and where mutual cultural respect is an essential ingredient in working on one of the most important cultural developments in the world," says Millinger. "To be a part of it is an enormous privilege."