With branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums, a performing-arts center designed by Zaha Hadid and the Maritime Museum by Tadao Ando opening on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi in the next decade, the Persian Gulf capital of the United Arab Emirates seems slated to become the culture capital of the Middle East.

To cement that reputation before the completion of the Saadiyat developments, the fifth annual Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, taking place March 22 to April 2, is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Guest artists will include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Vladimir Jurowski; the Bolshoi Ballet; and soprano Anna Netrebko. Performances and events will be staged at the opulent Emirates Palace Hotel. Info: www.admafestival.com.