NYU Abu Dhabi's Downtown Campus officially opened its doors in December 2009. Located a block from the Corniche, the Cultural Center, and the Al Hosn Fort in the center of Abu Dhabi, it houses nearly all of NYUAD's academic activities while the permanent Saadiyat Island campus is under development. Envisioned as a small campus, it includes two 3-story buildings connected by an enclosed bridge and set in a garden. Open lounges, wide corridors, and interconnecting stairs promote collegiality and interaction among students and faculty that is central to the University's mission.
In addition to the Downtown Campus, the NYUAD Center for Science and Engineering (CSE) provides extensive teaching and research space. The modern glass building is located in Mussafah, approximately 12 miles/19 kilometers from the Downtown Campus, and houses approximately 6,200 square meters of instructional and research laboratory space for courses in science, engineering, and the arts. The complex also contains faculty offices, a library storage facility, a digital media lab, conference rooms, and lounges.
The permanent NYUAD campus — scheduled for completion in 2014 — will be located on Saadiyat Island, 500 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The island, currently under development, is being planned for a population of 150,000 with a cultural district featuring several museums, including the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.