- The Architecture
- Current Exhibitions
- Activities for Adults
- Family Activities at the Abu Dhabi Louvre
- Dining Options
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 marked 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? From entry fees to exhibits, here is everything you need to know about the coveted art museum in the country’s capital.
Located in Saadiyat Island, 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 designed to perfectly harmonise with its desert-island surroundings. The inspiration for Louvre Abu Dhabi is a traditional Arabic architectural culture.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi has been designed as a ‘museum city’ in the sea, with a 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 the former’s collection. Curated in season, these temporary exhibits are planned according to specific themes common to global cultures and civilisations.
DRAGON AND PHOENIX: CENTURIES OF EXCHANGE BETWEEN CHINESE AND ISLAMIC WORLDS
This exhibition focuses on the rich culture, heritage and sciences from the Chinese and the Islamic World. “The Dragon” is symbolic of the Chinese culture and ideas, whereas “the phoenix” depicts Islamic ideology and concepts from the 8th to 18 century.
Another aspect of the exhibition focuses on the global trade, art and history of the two regions. Louvre Abu Dhabi explores the impact of Chinese and Islamic culture from the deserts of Arabia to the wilderness of Africa and the far reaches of Asia. There are over 240 masterpieces on display at the Dragon and Phoenix: Centuries of Exchange between Chinese and Islamic worlds.
- Exhibition Date: 6 October 2021 – 12 February 2022
- Exhibition Tickets: AED 60 onwards
DRAGON AND PHEONIX MASTERCLASS
Visitors can also be a part of the Dragon and Phoenix Masterclass on 22 to 29 January 2022 from 10:00 am to 01:00 pm at the Lourve Abu Dhabi. The prices are AED 640 per person for a two-day course.
ART HERE 2021
Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first annual Art Here exhibition will focus on masterpieces developed by UAE-based artists based on the theme of “Memory, Time and Territory”. Seven talented artists were selected by a distinguished panel of international art experts for the exhibition. There’s a USD 50,000 cash prize for the winner of the 2021 Richard Mille Art Prize.
Here’s a list of the shortlisted finalists.
- Cristiana de Marchi
- Latifa Saeed
- Mays Albaik
- Mohammed Kazem
- Nasser Alzayani
- Tarek Al-Ghoussein
- Taus Makhacheva
- Exhibition Date: 18 November 2021 – 27 March 2022
- Exhibition Tickets: AED 60 per person
Emotions! The New Art Adventure is a new exhibition at the Children’s Museum at Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi. The entry to the exhibition is free for kids aged between 4 to 10 years.
- Exhibition Date: 18 June 2021 – May 2023
- Exhibition Tickets: AED 63 for adults
The Louvre Abu Dhabi museum galleries are designed in chronological order. Each exhibit tells a story of human creativity. It highlights different issues that have left a deep impact on cultures, society and humanity from pre-historic events to the present. The galleries at Louvre Abu Dhabi are home to over 600 masterpieces in four wings.
Wing 1 features three galleries with artefacts and art pieces dating back to the early human civilisations. It also hosts masterpieces and items dating back to ancient empires in China, Arabia and Africa. The three galleries in Wing 1 include:
- The First Villages
- The First Great Powers
- Civilisations and Empires
The museum’s Wing 2 represents three galleries as well. This is where visitors can witness artworks and artefacts from universal religions around the globe. It also has several masterpieces that focus on Asian trade routes. The three galleries at Wing 2 are:
- Universal Religions
- Asian Trade Routes
- From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic
Wing 3 has four galleries with great pieces from the ancient Chinese to the Napolean and Columbus era. It has artworks and items from popular trade routes around the globe. The galleries here include:
- Thinking the State
- First Globalisation
- A New Art of Living
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, adult visitors can look forward to these activities:
KAYAKING AROUND THE MUSEUM
You wouldn’t think that a museum is one of the best places to go kayaking in Abu Dhabi — but it’s apparently possible for you to do so at the Louvre museum.
A guided kayaking tour of the Louvre 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 on the waters surrounding the museum. The tours are offered by Sea Hawk. A list of dates is available on the Louvre Abu Dhabi official website.
- Price: Starting from AED 126 per person
- Opening hours:
- Weekdays (except Mondays): 06:30 am |08:00 am | 03:30 pm | 05:00 pm | 07:00 pm
- Weekends: 06:30 am |03:30 pm | 05:00 pm |07:00 pm
YOGA UNDER THE DOME
The Yoga Under the Dome sessions at Louvre Abu Dhabi are available twice a day to help you relax and find inner peace. Jean Nouvel’s dome creates its very own microclimate and a unique setting where participants can explore the healing power of nature and art.
- Price: AED 90 per session (75 minutes per session)
- Opening hours: Sunday and Tuesday 10:15 am and 5:00 pm | Saturdays 11:00 am and 05:00 pm
FAMILY ACTIVITIES AT THE ABU DHABI LOUVRE
Apart from artists and enthusiasts, a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi can be enjoyable for the whole family too. In fact, it’s one of our top picks for family attractions in Abu Dhabi.
Families can also enjoy activities designed specifically for them like 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 have fun with their costumes through games in the museum’s new toddler space.
FREE ONLINE ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES
Families and children at the Louvre Abu Dhabi can explore the museum online as well. There are plenty of activities available on the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s official website.
Take a virtual tour of the several galleries available online. There is a dedicated Kids App from Louvre Abu Dhabi to help the little ones learn about the various exhibits and art.
CAFES BAR AND RESTAURANT AT 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. The newly renovated cafe has plenty to offer and a brand new menu worth a try! Aptitude hosts exciting new activities including workshops, dinner events, themed nights and more. The Oud Night is another event to look out for!
- Opening hours: Open daily (including Mondays) from 09:00 am – 10:00 pm
FOUQUET’S ABU DHABI
Enjoy fine dining at the renowned Fouquet’s Restaurant located at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The menu is curated by the French Michelin star-winning chef, Pierre Gagnaire. Taste the signature dishes with intricate flavours for a hearty meal at one of the best restaurants at Saadiyat Island.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 pm – 12:00 am | Thursday and Friday 12:00 pm – 01:00 am
The Marta Bar is located above the Fourquet’s restaurant and is one of the most popular attractions at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Marta is a speakeasy-style bar with an intimate ambience. The laid-back luxe atmosphere is perfect for delicious light bites and drinks. The bar is open after museum hours so you have plenty of time to discuss art. Bookings are recommended and the dress code is casual chic.
- Contact: For bookings at Fouquet’s Restaurant and Marta Bar call+971-50-699-6781 or +971-2-205-4200
Art Lounge offers an array of small bites, a chic elongated bar and an outdoor seating area. This is where you get to unwind while sipping on refreshing beverages and snacks. The stunning views of the Abu Dhabi skyline and the contemporary design concept make it one of the best sunset lounges in the capital city. The cafe is open to external guests and after museum hours as well.
- Opening hours: Daily except for Monday from 12:00 pm – 05:00 pm
- Contact: +971-50-699-6375 |+971-2-205-4225
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Louvre Abu Dhabi location?
The Louvre is located on Saadiyat Island. Here are further details:
- Location: Saadiyat Cultural District
- Contact: +971-600-56-5566
- Louvre Abu Dhabi opening hours: 10:00 am to 06:30 pm | 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 prices:
- AED 60: per adult
- AED 30: 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 museum is closed on Mondays. You can buy tickets and are allowed to enter until 30 minutes before the museum closes.
That’s a wrap for our review of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. If you have never visited the museum before, we recommend checking out the best Instagrammable exhibits at the Louvre to understand what newer exhibits might be like. Are you on a historical tour in the UAE? Don’t forget to visit the best museums in Abu Dhabi.