Inauguration, Louvre Abu Dhabi, photographed by Luc Castel
If you’re looking for an amazing new outing idea, heading out to help the first museum of its kind in the Arab region celebrate its opening can quickly sort that out.
After an official inauguration that saw UAE rulers, Arab kings and dignitaries mingling with French President Emmanuel Macron, Louvre Abu Dhabi has officially opened its doors to the world. And the much-anticipated culture and arts hub, a unique collaboration between Abu Dhabi and France, is celebrating with a week-long series of celebrations. What’s more, the museum, which His Excellency Mohamed Al Mubarak described as “the UAE’s gift to the world,” is ensuring it’s going to be a memorable extravaganza. Offering us a chance to catch some exciting multi-cultural music, arts and dance performances, the opening programme is running from November 11-14.
Inauguration, Louvre Abu Dhabi (photographed by Luc Castel)
The programme curated by Louvre Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Agence France-Muséums and Artistic and Programming Advisor, Arwad Esber, guarantees lots of cultural entertainment and workshops. It all starts with a bang on November 11 with "Museum Reflections," a spectacular audio-visual treat with a light show and firework display celebrating the museum’s collections and architecture. The spectacle is curated and choreographed by world-renowned pyrotechnic wizard Groupe F. On the same day, the first ticketed headline act sees French singer and rock guitarist Matthieu Chedid, known as –M–, spin his magic. Another notable ticketed performance is that by the mesmerising Malian performer Fatoumata Diawara, who is on stage November 12. Then of course, there’s the Lebanese jazz and world musician Ibrahim Maalouf, who is playing the next day. If you love the idea of Colombian-Caribbean inspired beats, the magnificent singer and dancer Totó La Momposina is the one to catch on November 14.
HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (L), HE Emmanuel Macron, President of France (2nd L), Brigitte Macron (3rd L) and HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Defence (R), arrive for the opening ceremony of the Louvre Abu Dhabi (Crown Prince Court, Abu Dhabi, Omar Al Askar)
The Museum at a Glance
Louvre Abu Dhabi - Exterior view (photographed by Roland Halbe
An iconic architectural masterpiece designed by Pritzker Prize winner Jean Nouvel, Louvre Abu Dhabi is located on the waterfront in Abu Dhabi’s cultural district on Saadiyat Island. Nouvel has designed Loure Abu Dhabi as a museum city (medina) that combines traditional Arabic inspiration with contemporary design. Its unique dome is comprised of 7,850 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern. When sunlight filters through, it creates a moving ‘rain of light’, reminiscent of the overlapping palm trees in the UAE’s oases.
Louvre Abu Dhabi - Germination by Giuseppe Penone (photographed by Roland Halbe)
Presented across 6,400 square metres of galleries, the museum’s growing collection includes over 600 important artworks and artefacts, and approximately half of them will be presented during the opening year. Half of the museum’s pieces are from its own rich holdings, with additional works from regional and UAE institutions. The other stellar works, around 300, are visiting from 13 partner museums in France. “By exhibiting works from diverse cultures in the same space, our curation shows the interconnectedness of different ideologies, aesthetics and artistic techniques. The museum story transports visitors through a history of humanity illuminated by our collection of exceptional treasures,” Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said. Ancient archaeological finds, decorative arts, neoclassical sculptures, paintings by modern masters and contemporary installations can all be found at the museum.
Louvre Abu Dhabi - Interior view (photographed by Roland Halbe)
In addition to its 23 permanent galleries, special exhibition space and Children’s Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi features a 270-seat auditorium, restaurant, boutique and café.
Ai Weiwei's Fountain of Light, Louvre Abu Dhabi (photographed by Marc Domage)
Civilisations and Empires, Louvre Abu Dhabi (photographed by Marc Domage)
Leonardo da Vinci's La Belle Ferroniere, Louvre Abu Dhabi, (photographed by Marc Domage)
The First Great Powers, Sarcophagus of Princess Henuttawy, Louvre Abu Dhabi (photographed by Marc Domage)
The First Villages, Bactrian Princess, Louvre Abu Dhabi (photographed by Marc Domage)
The Great Vestibule, Louvre Abu Dhabi (photograped by Marc Domage)
To purchase tickets for the opening shows, please visit www.louvreabudhabi.ae.