The $1.1 Billion Louvre Abu Dhabi to Open its Doors after Ten Years in the Making

The Louvre Abu Dhabi made its grand opening on 8 November, marking the completion of the cooperation project between The Louvre in Paris and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is built on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island (the island of happiness). Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel (the one on the left in the image below), the 9700-square-metre museum has taken more than a decade in the making.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is designed with a 180-metre-diameter dome. The dome filters sunlight to create "a rain of light", throwing flecks of illumination on the white blocks and promenades that forms the building's interior.

"The dome gleams in the Abu Dhabi sunshine. At night, this protected landscape is an oasis of light under a starry dome,” Jean Nouvel explained.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will display a rich permanent collection consisting of its own acquisitions – some 600 works ranging from antiquity to the present – along with 300 works on loan from French museums. The 300 pieces on loan include an 1887 self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci's 'La Belle Ferronniere'.

Back in 2007, the government of Abu Dhabi signed an agreement to pay the Louvre Museum in Paris US$525 million to use the “Louvre” name for its new museum for 30 years and additional US$750 million for loans of artworks and managerial advice. The Louvre Abu Dhabi was initially intended to open in 2012 but was delayed by the global financial crisis and plummeting oil prices.

Emmanuel Macron and his wife at the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi

French President Emmanuel Macron joined UAE leaders to inaugurate the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is set to open its doors to the public on November 11. The entrance ticket to the museum is AED 60 (US$16.3) with all 5,000 tickets sold out for the opening day. To plan your visit, you can go to the official website for ticket purchase.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Opening hours:
Tuesdays - Wednesdays, Saturdays - Sundays|10am - 8pm
Thursdays - Fridays|10am - 10pm
Closed on Mondays
Address: Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
General admission|AED 60 (US$16.3)
Age 13 - 22|AED 30 (about US$8.2)
Age 13 below, visitors with a physical disability and one accompanying person/journalists  |Free
Enquiries: +971 600 56 5565