- The Architecture
- Current Exhibitions
- Upcoming Exhibitions
- Activities for Adults
- Family activities at the Abu Dhabi Louvre
- General Information
Calling all art enthusiasts! A few years after it opened its doors to the capital’s public, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is now a cultural and artistic icon. Located in Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island Cultural District, the Abu Dhabi Louvre museum is an art and civilisation hotspot. It was inaugurated in 2017 and marks a thirty-year agreement between the French and Abu Dhabi governments.
The mastermind behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the 2008 Pritzker Prize winner Jan Nouvel. Among the many notable projects from the French architect are the Copenhagen Concert Hall, Philharmonie De Paris and the Doha Tower skyscraper.
Is the Louvre Abu Dhabi worth the trip to Saadiyat Island? From the price of entry to exhibits, here is everything you need to know about the coveted art museum in the country’s capital.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France. It houses around 600 pieces in a modern light-filled structure which is designed to be in perfect harmony with its desert-island surroundings. The inspiration for Louvre Abu Dhabi is a traditional Arabic architectural culture.
Applying a contextual approach to the site, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been designed as a ‘museum city’ in the sea, with its contrasting series of white buildings inspired by the medina and low-lying Arab settlements. But here it is a modern interpretation made of ultra-high performance concrete, otherwise known as UHPC. More than 55 buildings make up this museum city. The 180 metre-wide dome covers a large part of it and is also visible from surrounding areas.
The Louvre in Abu Dhabi features a total of four major exhibitions each year. The exhibitions are organised in collaboration with its counterpart Louvre in France; with feature works loaned from its collection. Curated in season, these temporary exhibits are planned according to certain themes common to global cultures and civilisations.
The 2019/2020 season is titled “Changing Societies” and explores key moments in history — from the meeting of the Christian West and Islamic East to the innovations regarding artistic practices in Paris in the early 20th century. Additionally, it also explores the history of luxury looking at works of high fashion houses like Chanel, Cartier, Christian Dior and Hermes.
In collaboration with its French Museum partners, upcoming exhibitions in Louvre Abu Dhabi include:
Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West
These art exhibits display how distinct practices in knightly values and combat led to cultural practices in the Islamic East and the Christian West. Expect to see 130 rare artworks from the 10th to the 16th centuries including rare manuscripts, armour and arms.
- Dates: 19th February to 30th May 2020
Charlie Chaplin: When Art met Cinema
The internationally revered movie star and silent-film icon will be immortalized at the Charlie Chaplin exhibit in the Saadiyat Island museum. The exhibition will explore the connection between Chaplin’s films and the art of the best artists of the time like Frantisek Kupka and Marc Chagall who were at the centre of modern art movements of the time like Surrealism, Dadaism and Constructivism.
Featuring around 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs, archives and film scenes, the displays offer a glimpse into how Chaplin and his contemporaries addressed the rapid change during the first half of the 20th century. Accompanying the exhibition will be a cultural programme exploring the connection between cinema and art. You don’t want to miss it!
- Dates: 15th April to 11th July 2020
The price of entry at the exhibits is included with the museum general admission ticket.
Activities for Adults
A visit to the Louvre is one of the best things to do on Saadiyat Island. From tours to workshops, the museum has a lot to offer apart from art exhibits. With this in mind, the museum’s adult visitors can look forward to these activities:
The Essential Tour
Explore the museum’s greatest masterpieces from 1st September to 30th June 2020 with an English guided tour. The tour will be available every day.
- Timings: 11:00 am to 02:00 pm
- Price of entry: AED 52.50 per person + valid admission ticket
Artists rejoice! The Saturday Sketching workshop is ideal for local artists and gives them the rare chance to sketch the museum’s artworks and develop their drawing skills. Materials will be provided, prior experience is not a necessity and participants must be over the age of 16 to enter. The workshop will only accept 15 participants at one time, so book your spot early.
- Timings: 04:30 pm to 05:30 pm
- Price: AED 84
You wouldn’t think that a museum is one of the best places to go kayaking in Abu Dhabi — but its apparently possible for you to do so at the Louvre museum. A guided kayaking tour on the water around the museum in Abu Dhabi is a spectacular experience. Lasting 60 minutes, the tour gives visitors a unique perspective of the museum’s architecture. Accompanied by professional instructors, guests are briefed on safety first. Sessions may be cancelled or postponed due to weather conditions in which case you will be notified.
Apart from this, another notable activity at the museum is the upcoming Full Moon Kayaking tour where guests can enjoy paddling with a special full moon tour on the waters surrounding the museum. The tours will continue from March to December and are offered by Sea Hawk. A list of dates is available on the Louvre Abu Dhabi official website.
- Price: Starting from AED 126
Family Activities at the Abu Dhabi Louvre
Apart from artists and enthusiasts, a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi can be an eye-opener for the whole family too. In fact, it’s one of our top picks for family attractions in Abu Dhabi. In addition to museum masterpieces, families can enjoy activities designed specifically for them, special screenings, events and a dedicated Children’s Museum.
From creating their own avatars to interactive journeys exploring costumes seen in artwork —it’s no wonder why kids make a beeline for the Children’s Museum at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Designed for kids aged four to 10, the museum is ideal for family visits and school groups. Young visitors even get to try on beautiful replica costumes handmade from Paris. Kids under three can explore their costumes through games in the museum’s new toddler space.
Free activities at Family Weekend
Families and children at the Louvre Abu Dhabi can explore the museum on the last Friday and Saturday of every month thanks to family-friendly activities that will last till June 2020. Featuring workshops, galleries and guided art tours, these are events that you will want to participate in. Here are the details of the weekend events:
- Discover your inner warrior: 28th to 29th February 2020
- Embark on a journey across the museum: 27th and 28th March 2020
- Travel back in time: 24th and 25th April
- Art in motion: 29th and 30th May
- Design adventures: 26th and 27th June
The mentioned activities are available for free. Family weekend timings for walk-in workshops, mini-tours, film screenings and other activities can be found on the official website of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
You can’t appreciate art on an empty stomach. And thankfully you won’t have to, owing to the museum’s cafes. You can head to the Aptitude Café for a perfect cup of coffee, sandwiches, wraps and other eats on the terrace. For the best experience, visit the museum’s Jean Nouvel-designed café which offers special menus designed specifically to complement the Louvre’s temporary exhibitions. There is also the Art Lounge with its array of small bites, chic elongated bar and an outdoor seating area.
What is the Louvre Abu Dhabi location?
The Louvre museum Abu Dhabi is located in Saadiyat Island. Here are further details:
- Location: Saadiyat Cultural District – Abu Dhabi
- Contact: +971-600-56-5566
- Louvre Abu Dhabi opening hours: 10:00 am to 08:00 pm | 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (Thursday and Friday) | Closed on Monday
What is the price of Louvre Abu Dhabi tickets?
Admission to the Louvre gives visitors access to the exhibitions, Children’s Museum, Museum Galleries, outdoor plazas under the dome and the museum café. You can buy Abu Dhabi Louvre tickets at the museum itself or online via the Louvre Abu Dhabi website. Here are details regarding the Louvre Abu Dhabi ticket price that you must be aware of:
- AED 63 (including VAT): per adult
- AED 31.50: Visitors between 13 and 22 years, UAE Military, Auditorium/workshop ticket holders, college lecturers, UAE school teachers and faculty members.
- Louvre Abu Dhabi free entry: Children under 13 years of age, student and teacher pass holders, journalists, People of Determination with one companion, Art Club members and ICOM/ICOMOS cardholders.
Visitors must keep in mind that the Abu Dhabi Louvre is closed on Mondays. Apart from this, visitors are allowed entry and the chance to buy tickets 30 minutes before the museum closes.
That’s a wrap of our review of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. If you have never visited the museum before, we urge you to check out picks for the best Instagrammable exhibits at the Louvre for an idea of what newer exhibits might be like. Are you on a historical tour in the UAE? Our guide to museums in Abu Dhabi can help you make the most of your trip.
For more updates on upcoming events and exhibitions in the UAE, stay tuned to MyBayut.