Abu DhabiInside The Louvre, Abu Dhabi

Join us on a tour of the first museum of its kind in the UAE

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Borne of a partnership with France, this landmark arts and culture destination showcases classic masterpieces and contemporary Arabic art alongside highlights of the Middle East’s rich heritage.

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The building

The museum is a work of art in itself. Designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, the futuristic construct seemingly floats on water.

Located on Saadiyat Island and bordered by lagoons, the museum features a striking domed roof. Made from nearly 8,000 metal stars set in a geometric pattern, it allows shards of sunlight to enter, casting shimmering rays throughout the interior.

Comprising 55 detached buildings, the gallery is a modern-day art medina, with smooth, white, Cubist, dry-rock walls fashioned from sand. There’s even a marina for private yachts to moor up alongside.

 

What can you see?

From Italian Renaissance paintings to ancient artefacts and radical new commissions, The Louvre Abu Dhabi has a collection that is wide and varied. Many works come from its sister gallery in Paris, while others are resolutely Arabian.

Running chronologically, each of the museum’s galleries tells the story of humanity in 12 chapters. Starting with ancient Egyptian and Cypriot antiquities, the collections reach a crescendo with contemporary showstoppers such as Ai WeiWei’s Fountain of Light.   

Wandering through light-dappled galleries, you’ll come across highlights such as Leonardo da Vinci's La Belle Ferronnière — one of only 15 known paintings by the great artist.

And look out for highlights such as Vincent Van Gogh’s 1887 self-portrait, Claude Monet’s The Saint-Lazare Station and Jacques-Louis David’s huge Napoleon Crossing the Alps.

Those who appreciate contemporary art will love the 21st century works, stunningly displayed inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s modernist galleries.

Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone's Leaves of Light — a bronze cast of a cherry tree with mirrors in its branches — cleverly captures and reflects the sunlight piercing the museum's canopy.

There are also pieces from modern art heavyweights such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly.   

Aside from permanent collections, each year the Louvre Abu Dhabi hosts four temporary exhibitions co-organised with its French partners, meaning an ever-changing showcase of international talent. Sound is as important here as vision, so music and multicultural performances underpin the creative output from the museum’s auditorium.

 

Are children welcome?

The dedicated Children’s Museum inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a two-floor space that hosts exciting workshops to inspire young imaginations, and there are also family friendly art exhibitions to enjoy.

Instead of ‘Do not touch’ the Children’s Museum encourages is fully interactive, with lots of fun features to explore with little hands and feet.   

Take an arts and culture-filled trip to Abu Dhabi with a luxurious stay at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, the perfect place from which to discover the city’s highlights.