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The Louvre Abu Dhabi: East Meets West

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on November 8, 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron, UAE Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The museum brings the Louvre name to the first universal museum in the Arab world.  It is located in the newly established Cultural District on Saadiyat (Happiness) Island.

The museum’s stated ambition is to become a place that fosters dialogue between East and West by bridging the gap between Eastern and Western art. Exhibits include loans from renowned French art institutions on a rotating 10-year basis, as well as the museum’s own acquisitions. The collection spans every medium: painting, sculpture, tapestry, goldwork, paper collage, photography.

Greeted with Arabian coffee at the museum entrance.

Some of the works currently on display include a gold bracelet made in Iran nearly 3,000 years ago, an Italian brooch from the 5th century BC, paintings by celebrated European and American artists, a paper collage by Picasso never before seen by the public, a Soninke/Djennenke figure from Mali, and artifacts from countries such as Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and India.

Persian Archer in glazed brick from Iran, Susa around 510 BCE

The low-slung museum building is a work of art in itself.  Inner courtyards are covered by a metallic dome of nearly 600 feet in diameter. Patterned with layered openings to look like interwoven palm leaves, sun filters in, mimicking rays of sunlight passing through palm fronds. A watertight basement and tidal pools within the galleries give the illusion of a museum in the sea.

There is a children’s museum, space for temporary art installations, a gift shop, a specialty coffee shop, and two restaurants. A schedule of interactive tours, events, informative talks, and performing artists rounds out the offerings.

Admission to the Louvre Abu Dhabi is included in the Abu Dhabi tours we offer in conjunction with our Expo packages.  Contact us for more information on planning your visit!

Joan Thompson, Expo Sales Executive
Ya’lla Tours USA

Posted on February 5, 2020