What is the new Louvre?

What is the new Louvre?

All of us know very well the original Louvre in Paris. It is the world’s most visited museum and a vital part of Paris and its tourism. It’s a symbol of art by itself.

Paris Louvre
Louvre in Paris

But have you heard about another Louvre? The new one, which is located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Louvre Abu Dhabi is a result of partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates and it is French’s largest art project overseas.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum of its kind in the Arab World.

It brings the Louvre name and its collection to Abu Dhabi, introducing various art collections, ancient as well as contemporary, to its visitors.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi

From above Louvre
Louvre in Abu Dhabi from above

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a world-class art gallery located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Since 2016 the director of Louvre Abu Dhabi has been Manuel Rabaté.

The UAE reportedly spent 400 million dollars on buying the rights to the Louvre’s name and additional 200 million dollars on borrowing artworks from the museum and its guidance assistance.

Perhaps, this deal profits Louvre not only economically but also improves and extends its reputation abroad.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is a separate institution but at the same time Louvre Paris loans many artworks and exchange temporal exhibitions.

By this consensus the museums contribute largely to international art by giving people an opportunity to observe the biggest artworks of all time.


Sun light and dome
Sun light trough the dome

The project agreement between the UAE and France was signed on 6th of March 2007. This one-of-a-kind partnership involves not only Louvre but also other members of the Agence France-Muséums.

Along with Louvre, there are more 16 prestigious partners like:

  • Musée des Arts décoratifs,
  • Cité de la Céramique – Sèvres et Limoges,
  • Musée d’archéologie nationale – Saint Germain en Laye,
  • Château de Fontainebleau,
  • Etablissement public de la Réunion des musées nationaux et du Grand Palais,
  • Ecole du Louvre,
  • Domaine national de Chambord,
  • OPPIC (Opérateur du Patrimoine et des Projets Immobiliers de la Culture),
  • Musée d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Centre Pompidou,
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France,
  • Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac,
  • Musée national des arts asiatiques-Guimet,
  • Musée Rodin,
  • Château de Versailles,
  • Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge.


Louvre constructions
Constructions of Louvre in Abu Dhabi

The museum was designed by combining traditional architectural styles with modern building techniques.

The building is surrounded by crystalline water and offers impressive views, the building of the Louvre is worth the visit by itself. Its visitors can arrive by land or sea. The construction took more than 10 years to be built and cost about 500 million dollars.

Pritzker-prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel was inspired by traditional Arab architecture when designing the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The Louvre establishment looks calm and extraordinary.  The astonishing 180 meters in diameter dome is a symbol of the United Arab Emirates’ ambition and achievements. It creates an interior light effect of “rain of light” under the date palm and was constructed by the Austrian company Waagner Biro.

The special metal structure of the dome doesn’t allow heat from the sun to get inside the building, it cools by itself. Moreover, the dome contains 7,850 stars.  These stars are repeated in different sizes and shapes through all eight layers.

The dome weighs around 7,500 tons, it is almost the same as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

55 white buildings, of which 23 are galleries clearly remind of Arabic medina. The total area of ​​the building is approximately 24,500 square meters.

Sunlight dome
Beautiful light through the dome

The museum and its collections

The permanent collection is based in six galleries spread across 6,000 square meters of exhibition space and temporary exhibitions occupy around 2,000 square meters.

The team at Louvre Abu Dhabi aims to connect together the best from various cultures and backgrounds.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum’s collection is organized by time period and follows the course the history development. It has 4 wings and 12 permanent galleries.

There are more than 600 artworks in this collection, made by famous artists such as Manet, Da Vinci, Magritte, Rembrandt,  Gauguin, Bellini, Mondrian, Van Gogh, sculpture Rodin etc. Here are the highlights of the permanent collection:

Museum Galleries

All 12 galleries are designed in chronological order, from pre-historical events to the present.  

Man in gallery
Man sitting in a gallery of Louvre

There are four wings:

Wing 1

Wing 1 is made out of three galleries and has a lot of artifacts which are dated back to the beginning of human civilization. It has different masterpieces from empires like China, Arabia, Africa, and Egypt.

These three galleries are:

  • The First Villages
  • The First Great Powers
  • Civilisations and Empires

Wing 2

This wing is focused on global religion and also has three galleries: 

  • Universal Religions
  • Asian Trade Routes
  • From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic

Wing 3

This wing has popular artworks from numerous trade routes and has 3 galleries:

  • Thinking the State
  • First Globalisation
  • A New Art of Living

Wing 4

Last but not least wing represents modern artists and contemporary art. The galleries are:

  • A Modern World
  • Challenging Modernity
  • Epilogue

Temporary Exhibitions

Manet the Balcony
The Balcony by Manet

In collaboration with french partners Abu Dhabi museum presents each year four major temporary exhibitions.

The masterpieces can be brought from different institutions across France, loaned for a few months and then safely brought back to their permanent home museums.

Currently from the 12th of October 2022 to 5th of February 2023 exhibition “Impressionism: Pathways to Modernity” is being held.

It features stunning artworks by several well-known artists of impressionism such as Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne with about 150 classic works.

Other activities

Kayak Louvre
Kayaking in Louvre Abu Dhabi

It is definitely an incredible place to spend the whole day as this museum offers various activities for adults and kids.

From museum tours to creative workshops, there are many things to do besides witnessing the art. One of the best things I recommend you to try is kayaking in and around the museum during the sunset. Such an amazing view.

The Louvre Yoga sessions under the dome are available twice a day to help you relax, calm down and find inner balance.

Children museum
Children’s museum in Louvre Abu Dhabi

And they didn’t forget about the children. There is an interactive children’s museum for kids 4-10 years- old after which you might head to have some tasty food and drinks in one of the museum restaurants, Aptitude Cafe, Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi, Marta Bar, Art Lounge or Museums Cafe.

You must be starving after this long journey.

Art lounge louvre
Art Lounge in Louvre


As you can see it is definitely a place you should visit and dedicate your time to while traveling to UAE. It has so much to offer that you can easily spend there the whole day, with family or your partner.

  • Louvre Abu Dhabi opening hours: 10:00 am to 06:30 pm | Closed on Monday
  • Ticket price 60 AED per person.

Keep in mind that the Louvre is closed on Mondays and the latest you can enter the museum is 30 minutes before closing. Enjoy your visit!