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 NYU Abu Dhabi'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. A paved allée between the buildings and the landscaped grounds are designed for outdoor dining, study, and recreation. Exterior sun shading and natural ventilation contribute to a high level of sustainable design performance. Open lounges, wide corridors, and interconnecting stairs promote collegiality and interaction among students and faculty that is central to the University's mission.

Distinct from the surrounding urban context in its robust modern design, the campus conveys the optimism, openness, and unique vision of NYU Abu Dhabi.

In an innovative construction process, the twin NYU Abu Dhabi buildings were manufactured in a factory and delivered in modules to the downtown site. The modules were then assembled and connected to utilities.

Portions of the campus are open to the public. These facilities include:

  • A Welcome Center for visitors to be acquainted with NYU Abu Dhabi
  • A Connection Center for presentations about NYU Abu Dhabi programs and for communication to other NYU global sites
  • A café with indoor and outdoor seating
  • A multipurpose space for large gatherings and performances
  • A bookstore, with textbooks, general interest books, and NYU Abu Dhabi merchandise

The facilities for the exclusive use of NYU Abu Dhabi students, faculty, and staff include:

  • A 2-story library with spaces for group and individual study, as well as a faculty and student resource center
  • Classrooms with state-of-the-art audio/visual technology
  • Seminar rooms
  • Language and computer labs
  • Global network seminar rooms that facilitate communication with similar venues on the New York campus
  • Student services offices
  • Administrative and faculty offices
  • A Health and Wellness Center

The facility is fully air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.

Vital Statistics

Interior Space

65,000 square feet, distributed between two buildings.


  • Welcome Center
  • Connection Center
  • Information Desk
  • Café
  • Multipurpose space
  • Library
  • Bookstore
  • Security Office
  • Registrar and Bursar's Office
  • Orientation and International Assistance Office
  • Admissions and Financial Aid Office
  • Health and Wellness Center
  • Large conference room
  • Small conference rooms
  • Seminar rooms
  • Global network seminar rooms/classrooms
  • Language and computer labs
  • Art Studio
  • Administrative offices and support spaces
  • Faculty offices and support spaces
  • Student lounges
  • Locker and vending areas
  • Prayer rooms
  • Shaded outdoor areas for study and dining
  • Mail room
  • Faculty and staff parking
  • Landscaping with benches and water feature
  • Wireless Internet provided in all spaces inside and outside
  • Designer: Obermeyer Engineering Consulting, UAE
  • Manufacturer: Prekons Construction Ind. Co. Inc, Turkey
  • Contractor: Civil Power Contracting, UAE
  • PM: Jacobs, UAE