I like to vote for Abu Dhabi to be the cultural capital of the world in 2012. By that time, the city would have been blessed by the likes of Ando, Hadid, Gehry, and Nouvel. By that time museums that carry names like "Louvre" and "Guggenheim" and perhaps "MOMA" would have been completed and open for the public. The city would be home to one of the F1 races as well as a Ferrari theme park.
But the real reason for my choice is a wonderful architectural jewel designed by none other than Jean Nouvel; The Louvre of the Desert.
Approachable from land and sea, the design concept seems to take the form of a city. Hidden or protected under a dome with leaves-like openings, light filters through gently creating a romantic metaphor for an oasis of priceless exhibits in the desert of Abu Dhabi.
Images found here