Le Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first museum of the cultural sector of Saadiyat Island. It opened on November 11, 2017. It presents collections of international artistic works and is set to become a major tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi to visit. In this article, you will find Le Louvre Abu Dhabi opening hours, entrance fees, exhibition fees, access map, our opinion and advice for the visit.
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Genesis of the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi
In its development plan, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has expressed the desire to become an essential capital of art and culture in the Middle East. The island of Saadiyaat as been selected to host the cultural district, with three museums planned in the plan, the first to emerge from the ground is The Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The project was brought to a high level by the UAE and French leaders, who signed the cooperation agreement in March 2007. Le Louvre, the largest museum in the world, and one of the most prestigious, is entrusted with the task of creating a museum for Abu Dhabi, through Agence France Museum.
The architectural project is entrusted to Jean Nouvel, while 40 million euros are allocated each year to the purchase of art works.
Unlike many museums in the region, devoted to Arab civilization and Islamic art, The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a universal encyclopaedic museum, whose mission is to trace with pedagogy the history of civilizations of the world. As such, all types of arts are represented, including contemporary art. In reality, it is the skills of many Parisian and French museums that are associated with the project.
The collections of the museum and the Salvator Mundi
The goal of the museum is to build a permanent collection. 40 million euros are allocated to this mission each year. But they are loan agreements with mainly French museums, for various periods of time, which constitute the largest part of the collections today.
At the end of 2017, Le Louvre Abu Dhabi announces that the famous portrait of Leonardo da Vinci Salvator Mundi will soon be presented in the museum. The auction of the 65x45cm piece in November 2017 hit a record $450 million on November 15, 2017 in the Christie's auction house in New York, while in 1958 its auction at Sotheby's had only reached the modest sum of 45 pounds. Historians struggle to trace the history of the work painted at the dawn of the 16th century and perhaps commissioned by the court of kings of France. It has crossed the Channel to meet at the court of the kings of England before disappearing from circulation until the end of the 19th century.
If the attribution of the painting is still debate (some experts think it would rather be the work of one of the disciples of Leonardo da Vinci) his exhibition in the new museum is beautifully echoing the Mona Lisa in Paris. In the realm of immoderation, it needed a work at astronomical price to promote the new museum. And when you know the success of Mona Lisa in Paris, there is no doubt that the museum's marketers and the emirate's tourist office will do everything to attract tourists from around the world thanks to Salvator Mundi.
Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi
She will join another work by Leonardo da Vinci: La Belle Ferronnière, loaned by Le Louvre Paris.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is expected to host four temporary exhibitions a year. The first entitled From One Louvre to Another (Louvre to Another) takes place from December 21, 2017 to April 7, 2018. 150 works are presented, loaned by the Louvre Museum Paris and the Palace of Versailles.
Louvre Abu Dhabi Dome
Le Louvre architecture
It is a project of the architect Jean Nouvel who was selected for the building. Composed of a large dome with a honeycomb frame, its relationship to light has been cleverly thought to regulate clarity and temperature.
You can observe its unique architecture from the highway that runs through Saadiyat Island.
Model of the Louvre Museum of Abu Dhabi, on the island of Saadiyat ©Odyfolio
The Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi is now open from 10am to 8pm every day except Mondays, with nights until 10pm on Thursday and Friday nights.
Entry fee and tickets price
Entrance fees at the Louvre Abu Dhabi are 60 AED for an adult, and 30 AED for young people from 13 to 22 years old. Free for young children. You are strongly advised to book your ticket online at the official site: the desire of culture of the inhabitants of the United Arab Emirates is high and on some weekends location can be busy.
Information for the visit
Access to the museum is well signposted from the Saadiyat road in both directions. There are large free and shady car parks. You can also get there by taxi or with tourist buses that leave from Marina Mall. By city bus, you will need to take the 94.
Map of Saadiyat Island (Abu Dhabi) with location of major tourist attractions ©OpenStreetMap contributors
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What are the opening times and schedule of Le Louvre Abu Dhabi?
10am to 8pm Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 10am to 10pm Thursday and Friday. Closed on Mondays.
How much does the entrance fee to Louvre Abu Dhabi cost?
60AED for an adult, 30AED for young people up to 22 years old, free for children under 13 years old.
How long is the visit?
It takes 90 minutes for the visit, 60 minutes more if you go also to temporary exhibition, and little bit more if you spend tome time to relax and take photos of the architecture. We advise you to plan a half day.
Can we come by car to Le Louvre Abu Dhabi?
Yes, there are large free and shady car parks.
Can I get to The Louvre Abu Dhabi by bus?
Yes: you have to take bus 94 (be careful you have to have a prepaid card, no possibility to buy a ticket on board). The easiest way is to come with the Abu Dhabi Big Bus Tour bus.
Is there a luggage order?
Yes it is possible to leave (small) bags at the entrance.
Are there temporary exhibitions?
Yes: one every 3 months, 4 in a year.
Is it possible to eat?
There is a snack café inside. However, we advise you to go to hotel in Saadiyat like Saint Regis, or at the restaurant of Manarat al Saadiyat nearby.
Are photos allowed?
Yes it is possible to take pictures in the showrooms without flash. More restrictions may apply for temporary exhibitions.
Are there beaches near Louvre Abu Dhabi?
Yes, the beaches of Saadiyat Island are the most beautiful in the country: check out our article on Abu Dhabi beaches