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  1. #1

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    Post Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Shanghai Disneyland is going to have to wait for Dubai Disneyland. I say this because the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which has been designed by Frank Gehry, will open by or soon after 2012. Read on....


    Abu Dhabi closes deal with France for a new 'Louvre'
    By Alan Riding
    Tuesday, March 6, 2007

    PARIS: What's the price of a good name? How about a cool €400 million?

    That is the amount that Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, agreed Tuesday to pay to attach the name of the Louvre to a new museum which it hopes to open in 2012. And there is more: In exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice, Abu Dhabi will pay France a further €575 million.

    Controversy over the so-called Louvre Abu Dhabi has been swirling here for the past three months, with critics charging that France was "selling" its museums, but only now have the full details of the €975 million, or $1.3 billion, package been disclosed.

    For Abu Dhabi, closure of the deal marks an important step in its plan to build a €20.7 billion tourist and cultural development on Saadiyat Island, opposite the city.

    The project's cultural components include a Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a maritime museum and a performing arts center as well as the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

    For France, the agreement signals a new willingness to exploit its culture for both political and economic ends. In this case, it also represents something of a payback: The United Arab Emirates has ordered 40 Airbus-380 aircraft and has imported €8 billion worth of armaments from France over the past decade.

    The agreement was signed Tuesday in Abu Dhabi by the French culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, and the president of Abu Dhabi's Tourism Authority, Sheik Sultan bin Tahnoon al-Nahyan.

    Henri Loyrette, president of the Louvre, was among numerous senior French museum officials in the French delegation.

    The Louvre Abu Dhabi, a 24,200 square-meter, or 260,000 square-foot, complex covered by an umbrella-like roof designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, is planned as a universal museum, including art from all eras and regions, including Islamic art. Over the next decade, Abu Dhabi is also expected to spend about €400 million building its own collection.

    Although it will carry the Louvre's name, the new museum's relationship will be with a new International Agency for French Museums, which will include the Musée d'Orsay, the Georges Pompidou Center, the Musée Guimet, the Château de Versailles, the Musée Rodin, the Musée du Quai Branly, as well as the Louvre among its members. This new agency is also expected to look for new international partners in the coming years.

    Still, it was inevitable that the focus of attention should be the renting of the Louvre's name. It was this that upset many French traditionalists, including 4,700 signatories of a petition objecting to the accord. But it was also the Louvre brand that Abu Dhabi coveted in order to add prestige to its ambitious Saadiyat Island plan.

    Apart from paying €400 million to the French agency for the use of the Louvre's name for 30 years, Abu Dhabi has also agreed to make a direct donation of €25 million to the Louvre itself to refurbish a wing of the Pavillon de Flore.

    This gallery, to be ready by 2010, will carry the name of Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, founder and longtime ruler of the United Arab Emirates who died in 2004.

    Abu Dhabi will also finance a new art research center in France and pay for the restoration of the Château de Fontainebleau's theater, which will be named after Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al- Nahyan, the emirate's current president.

    France's support for the Louvre Abu Dhabi includes several elements: In exchange for €190 million, it will rotate between 200 and 300 artworks through the museum over a 10-year period; it will be paid €165 million over 20 years for management expertise provided by its new museums agency; and it will provide four temporary exhibitions per year for 15 years in exchange for €195 million.

    In a telephone interview from Abu Dhabi, Mubarak al-Muhairi, deputy chairman of the city's Tourist Authority, dismissed rumors that the new museum would refuse loans or exhibitions from France displaying Christian religious art or, say, nudity. "In principle, there are no restrictions," he said, "but both sides will agree on what is shown."

    He said that the authority's hope was that the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which has been designed by Frank Gehry, would open by or soon after 2012, with the other parts of the cultural center to follow.

    He also noted that, while Abu Dhabi expected its expenditure on new works to average about €40 million per year, "It is our intention to build the collection gradually so as not to distrub the market." In this, the French museums agency is also expected to play an advisory role.

    In a statement, Nahyan said the accord reinforced "Abu Dhabi's vision to become a world-class destination bridging global cultures." In a message read at the ceremony Tuesday, President Jacques Chirac said it "sealed a partnership with the world's most visited and well known museum."

  2. #2

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Wow, never thought that France would whore out it's culture like that.

  3. #3

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    As much as I want to say "how could The Lourve dilute its name like that?" I think of what could be done with 1.3bil. It seems like everyone has their price, but that doesn't mean you can buy culture.

    Even with the name, you can't buy the reputation that the Lourve has created over the years, that'll have to come with time.

  4. #4

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Honestly, I don't care what they put in Dubai. It's never going to make me actually want to go there. It looks to be turning into an entertainment whore. No thanks.

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    I don't think that the Walt Disney Company have even considered building another Disney park in Dubai. The rumors of the $8 billion Dubai Disneyland are pure speculation, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Personally, I don't want another Disney resort until the exisiting ones are perfected. In fact, didn't they deny that they were building another Disney resort in Asia (or anywhere else for that matter)?
    Last edited by TDR_Fan; 03-09-2007 at 12:51 AM.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Disney is definitely building a park in Dubai -- where else is Michael Jackson going to go? LOL

  7. #7

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Although I see nothing in that article even mentioning Disney; I've said it before and I'll say it again: Disney is not going into the Middle East for at least four or five decades. Politically, a Disney park would be nothing more than a giant target even in the more moderate states. It's the same reason Disney doesn't put parks in cold or unstable climates--Orlando's hurricanes exempted of course--it's simply way too big a risk.
    Forget 'Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln,' Samantha Brown is Disney's most sophisticated animatronic.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Not even Disney could bring me to Dubai.

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    A Dubai park could be great for Disney parks as a whole. The money available there could fund development of several new E-tickets that then could be cloned in CA or FL.

    If Disney structured the deal better than they did in Tokyo, it could be great.

  10. #10

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    No market.
    Check out my other blog:

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yendorb View Post
    A Dubai park could be great for Disney parks as a whole. The money available there could fund development of several new E-tickets that then could be cloned in CA or FL.

    If Disney structured the deal better than they did in Tokyo, it could be great.
    No it wouldn't be. Nor would a fifth park be at WDW or a third park in Anaheim.

    NO MORE DISNEY PARKS, EVER. There are enough in the world, and Disney can't even handle what it has, not to mention the fact that Disney parks would be commodified (and in a way, they already are in some repsects). Another park? BAD BAD BAD IDEA.

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickCharles View Post
    No it wouldn't be. Nor would a fifth park be at WDW or a third park in Anaheim.

    NO MORE DISNEY PARKS, EVER. There are enough in the world, and Disney can't even handle what it has, not to mention the fact that Disney parks would be commodified (and in a way, they already are in some repsects). Another park? BAD BAD BAD IDEA.
    I couldn't agree more. When you saturate the market, the demand goes down and the product loses value.

    I think even Hong Kong was stretching the brand too far. We keep reading about Paris and Hong Kong struggling to keep their heads above the water.

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    Cool Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Back in Summer 2004, it was reported online that "as part of the package for a financial bailout of the Disneyland Paris Resort, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal may demand that Michael Eisner allow him to site a Four Seasons hotel on Walt Disney World Resort property”.

    Then, this week we learn that the Four Seasons chain is 22% owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and that he recently bought the Fairmont chain and is in the process of buying out the Four Seasons completely.

    It seems that the Gulf States really want to invest their oil profits in high end tourism related ventures.

    An American style theme park is inevitable, it's just a matter of who's going to cash that multibillion dollar check. Is Disney ready?

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
    I couldn't agree more. When you saturate the market, the demand goes down and the product loses value.

    I think even Hong Kong was stretching the brand too far. We keep reading about Paris and Hong Kong struggling to keep their heads above the water.
    Hong Kong was...and my opinion was against it. However, that little park, even without a Frontierland, and it's carbon copy Main Street and Castle, seems to be turning out rather pretty. If only Tokyo Disneyland (not DisneySea) could be erased and HKDL could take it's place. We'll see how things pan out with HKDL as it expands.

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    Re: Dubai Disneyland the next big thing?

    It may be a big tourist area, but I don't think that Disney should put a park there. Talk about spending to much money on something... it's a bad idea and that area doesn't seem like the theme park area. Just because people go there, doesnt mean that you need parks there.

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