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You’ve probably heard of the Louvre – the famous museum in Paris, France that is home to legendary works such as the Mona Lisa. What you may not know is that on November 8th, 2017, the Louvre opened up a satellite museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, as it is known, is the latest offering in the UAE’s arts and culture scene. In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know about visiting the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is located in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District in Abu Dhabi. Saadiyat Island is a large, low-lying island around 500 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi. It is about a five-minute drive from downtown Abu Dhabi and a one-hour drive away from Dubai.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the largest art museum is the Arabian Peninsula. It spans an area of 24,000 square meters, with approximately 8,000 square meters dedicated specifically to gallery space.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a separate museum on its own. However, the two museums are linked by a branding and training agreement that is set to last for the next 30 years. This means that the Louvre Abu Dhabi will be able to take away best management practices from one of the most famous museums on the planet, allowing for any visitor to have a world-class experience.
The permanent collection at the Louvre Abu Dhabi houses over 600 artworks – not bad for a museum that only opened last month. The works at the museum were specially chosen to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western art, thereby celebrating Abu Dhabi’s position in the crossroad of the globe. As a result, the works on display span geographical regions and historical time periods. Visitors can admire Impressionist and Surrealist paintings from famous European painters, as well as historical carvings from ancient China and Iran. Despite this mix, the curators have done a careful job of weaving together a cohesive narrative for visitors. The galleries are arranged by time period and theme, allowing visitors to feel a sense of coherence as they explore.
It is important to note that just because this is not the Paris Louvre, that does not mean the artwork is of a lesser quality. The Louvre Abu Dhabi has invested a significant sum to bring unique works of art to its galleries.
Some of our favorite objects d’art at the museum are:
A deceptively simple abstract painting by Piet Mondrian, that is made up of horizontal and vertical lines and primary colors. Instead of being bound by the natural form, it is pictorial language at its most simple and free.
This 10th century Egyptian funeral set is incredibly well preserved, with the colorful embellishments still visible. You can still see the painted outlines of the princess’s delicate features.
a 1878 painting by Osman Hamdy Bey of Istanbul. This painting is a great example of cross-cultural artwork as it incorporates a traditional Islamic subject with a hint of the Western painting style.
We recommend purchasing tickets online, to avoid queues when you enter. Tickets to the Louvre Abu Dhabi cost 60 AED. Children between the ages of 13 and 22, as well as students studying at a UAE educational institution, receive half-price tickets. Furthermore, children under the age of 13 can enter for free. If you are disabled, you and one companion can also enter for free.
As an additional note, you can rent an iPad for approximately 20 AED when you enter the museum. This iPad provides you with additional information about the various exhibits and gives you a guide to the 12 galleries. It’s a great way to enhance your experience.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is closed on Mondays. On Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is open from 10AM to 8PM while on Thursdays and Fridays it is open from 10AMto 10PM.
You’ll need around two hours just to do the most basic walk-through of the museum. However, as you are likely to want to linger and examine the various pieces of art. We recommend budgeting at least 4 hours to thoroughly enjoy what the museum has to offer.
The museum offers free parking. There is also the option of valet parking for 40 AED. If you are not driving, there is a convenient drop-off point at the main entrance that is frequented by taxis.
We are huge fans of museums here at Dubai by Foot. While we love the Dubai Museum that we pass on our Old Dubai tour, we can’t help but be excited for the global offerings of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It’s a big step to cementing the UAE’s status as a premier art destination. And if you’re interested in learning more about art in the UAE, our Dubai Art tour demonstrates the effect these historical influences have on the scene today.