Things to do in Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi: A futuristic oasis bridging centuries of art and heritage

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Abu Dhabi, a vibrant city at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, is transforming into a fresh canvas poised to foster rich cultural exchange. The Louvre Abu Dhabi embodies this vision - its elegant French architecture intertwined with the timeless heritage of the Arab world boldly showcases the myriad traditions that have shaped human history for centuries.

When visiting Abu Dhabi, dedicate at least half a day to exploring the wonders of the Louvre. As this new jewel in the UAE's crown draws art enthusiasts from far and wide, it's wise to secure your tickets online beforehand. Step inside and be transported to a futuristic realm, marked by the iconic latticed dome and stunning waterfront design. Read this blog to know what awaits you on your journey to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Louvre Abu Dhabi in a nutshell

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a treasure trove of experience. Via twenty galleries, journey through twelve chronological chapters as you travel through centuries of world civilization. The Louvre Abu Dhabi also has a dedicated section for children, where they can use interactive aids to understand the many layers of history.

Within the museum grounds, architect Nouvel has brilliantly designed a café, as well as a an open plaza. As part of the Saadiyat Island Cultural Hub, this ‘Universal Museum’ is set to be the beginning of so much more than a single attraction. With upcoming neighbors, including the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the birth of a new cultural hub.

Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration:2 hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Mornings
💜 Must See:Portrait of an Unknown Lady
🎟️ Louvre Abu Dhabi Ticket: AED 63

Must-See paintings

La Belle Ferronnière
The portrait of Napoleon
La Gare Saint-Lazare
Portrait of a Lady
Self -portrait by Vincent van Gogh

Must-see sculptures & artifacts

Statue of Gudea, Prince of Lagash, Praying
Monumental Statue with Two Heads
Page of the ‘Blue Qur’an‘
Fountain of Light

Opening hours And address

Weekdays: 10am to 6:30pm
Friday to Sunday: 10am to 8:30pm
Address : Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Get Directions

Recommended Louvre Abu Dhabi tickets

Louvre Abu Dhabi Tickets are easily available online and purchasing them in advance is highly recommended as the lines can easy take upto 2 hours during peak hours. There are various combos available online, allowing you to combine your Louvre visit with other popular attractions in Abu Dhabi. For a unique experience, try the Louvre Abu Dhabi Kayak tour , where you paddle through the museum's tranquil waters, soaking in the grand architecture.

Louvre Abu Dhabi origin story

louvre abu dhabi - origin story

The concept of Louvre Abu Dhabi was conceived back in 2007, when the French government and the United Arab Emirates came together to create a universal museum that would tell the story of the world through works of art. An ambitious project, the two parties happily accepted the challenge. Built on 64,000 square meters of pristine white museum city, the massive Arabian counterpart of Paris’s Louvre houses unique paintings, sculptures, and other artworks that have been sourced in collaboration with the Agence France Museums.

In Nouvel’s words, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is - “A welcoming world serenely combining light and shadow, reflection and calm. It wishes to belong to a country, to its history, to its geography without becoming a flat translation. It also aims to emphasise the fascination generated by rare encounters.”

As the largest art and culture museum of its kind in the Arab world, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was conceptualised to embody the similarities that cut across centuries and traditions in different parts of the world. The multicultural museum will be using the name Louvre for thirty years, and the growing unique collection here is a combination of original pieces from the Middle East, as well as artefacts from all over the world.

Louvre Abu Dhabi architecture

Created by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on November 8, 2017. Taking inspiration from Abu Dhabi’s idyllic virgin lagoon island, Saadiyat, the world-renowned architect designed a façade that brilliantly complements the chronological journey of the world, aptly characterizing the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection.

The 55 buildings that make up the museum city are blanketed by an aluminium and steel latticed dome, inspired by the mashrabiya, a screen used in the Middle East as protection from the harsh sunlight. The sunlight filters through the dozens of stars stenciled within the dome, and the soft beams of light create a magical aura at every turn in the museum.

What to see at Louvre Abu Dhabi


louvre abu dhabi - A Portrait of an Unknown Lady

A portrait of an unknown lady by Leonardo da Vinci

'A Portrait of an Unknown Lady' is a beautiful, enigmatic painting by Leonardo da Vinci. This masterpiece perfectly encapsulates the artistry and skill of one of the world's most renowned artists. Da Vinci captures something special in this painting that makes it truly captivating - perhaps it is her dreamy expression or her timeless beauty that draws us all in.

louvre abu dhabi - The Portrait of Napoleon by David

The Portrait of Napoleon by David

There's no denying that Jacques-Louis David's famous portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte is a stunning work of art. From the sharp lines of his iconic bicorne hat to his piercing gaze, this painting truly brings him to life. The facial features are in perfect balance with the strong lines of the clothing, giving a sense of power and strength that perfectly captures Napoleon's personality.

louvre abu dhabi - La Gare Saint-Lazare’ by Claude Monet

‘La Gare Saint-Lazare’ by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's painting from 1877, 'La Gare Saint-Lazare,' is a beautiful example of impressionist art. The enchanting play of light and shadows against the popping colors sets the scene of a vivacious train station in Paris during the late 19th century. Nowadays, this painting is not only representative of the impressionist movement but also captures the essence and liveliness of Paris.

louvre abu dhabi - ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Pablo Picaso

‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Pablo Picaso

The Pablo Picasso painting 'Portrait of a Lady' is a age-old classic. Thousands have studied and analyzed this beautiful work with its different colors and strokes. It's become an world famous example of modern art.

louvre abu dhabi - Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh

Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh

The Louvre Abu Dhabi's Vincent van Gogh self-portrait is one of a kind. An expressive andIconic work of art, it shows the life passion of the artist in bubbly colors that reflect his feelings.

Exhibitions at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Disney world

From 26 March to 21 July 2024 Louvre Abu Dhabi will be hosting an extraordinary exhibition showcasing the rich history and cultural significance of animal fables. You will have the opportunity to explore the diverse array of artworks, including exquisite manuscripts, intricate graphic arts, and captivating 3D objects. These artworks have been generously lent by prestigious institutions from around the world, offering a rare glimpse into the shared themes and motifs between the Eastern classic "Kalīla wa Dimna" and the Western fables of La Fontaine. Through beautifully illustrated manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, alongside Western artworks, you will witness the remarkable commonalities that unite these timeless tales.

Children’s Museum

The two- floored Children’s museum at the centre of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is designed to pique the curiosity of children between the ages 6 and 12 years. Parents too can accompany the children here and engage in various activities that will help the young minds grasp the importance of art and culture and get the most out of the museum.

'Picturing the Cosmos' is the current exhibition at the Children's Museum and it's totally free for kids above 4 years old. This family-friendly journey blends art and interactive games to transport young explorers into the depths of space. Discover how artists through history have been inspired by the cosmos, as the exhibition unfolds in four themes: Contemplate celestial wonders through artistic interpretations; Narrate tales of stars and galaxies that have shaped human understanding; Measure the universe's mysteries through scientific inventions; and Explore dreams of interstellar travel. This extraordinary space odyssey transforms the cosmos into an awe-inspiring playground for curious minds of all ages.

Previous exhibitions at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi Kayak tour

Embark on a mesmerizing one-hour kayaking adventure beneath the dome of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. As you paddle, an expert guide shares fascinating insights about the museum's history and architecture. Experience the interplay of light and shadow on outdoor installations, enhanced by shimmering water reflections. Glide through serene waters around Saadiyat Island, taking in breathtaking views of the iconic metallic dome, designed to resemble a sparkling night sky. This intimate experience satisfies both aesthetic senses and the desire for Instagram-worthy moments, making it an unforgettable highlight of your Abu Dhabi visit.

Louvre Abu Dhabi floor plan - Virtual tour

ostia antica

After purchasing your tickets, walk into a promenade overlooking the sea beneath Louvre's latticed dome and experience the ‘rain of light’. From here you can start touring the Louvre Abu Dhabi's by visiting its Galleries. There are 12 galleries arranged in a sequence highlighting universal themes and commonalities, transcending geography, nationality and history. The order of galleries are :

• The Great Vestibule
• The First Villages
• The First Great Powers
• Civilizations and Empires
• Universal Religions
• Asian Trade Routes
• From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic
• Cosmography
• The World in Perspective
• The Magnificence of the Court
• A New Art of Living
• A Modern Art
• Challenging Modernity
• A Global Stage

In addition to these 12 galleries, there are temporary exhibition held year round. If there are any during your visit, make sure to visit these too. After the Galleries and Exhibitions, you can move onto the Children's Museum which is located centrally across the 2 floors of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. If you have worked an appetite after all the ambling, you can head to the restaurant or cafe in Louvre Abu Dhabi for a delectable bite.

Louvre Abu Dhabi - Opening hours

Louvre Abu Dhabi timings

Louvre Abu Dhabi is open daily from 10am to midnight. The galleries and exhibitions close early on but the dome is open to visit till midnight.

  • Galleries and exhibitions are open Tuesday to Thursday from 10am to 6:30pm. From Friday to Sunday they close at 8:30pm.
  • The Museum Café closes at 8pm Monday through Thursday, and at 10pm Friday through Sunday.
  • The museum is closed on Monday

How to get to the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Getting to Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi is located in Saadiyat Island's Cultural District. Designed to be the largest single cluster of world-class cultural assets, the area is expected to grow immensely in the coming years.

  • By Bus
    Take bus #94 to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island stop.
  • By Car
    If you are driving in from Abu Dhabi City, head toward Zayed Port (Mena Zayed), and follow the signs to reach Yas Island, which will then lead you to the Saadiyat Island via the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge. Take the road off Sheikh Khalifa Highway E12 to reach the Cultural District and take the first exit after the bridge to reach the museum.
  • By Taxi
    If you are planning to travel by taxi, there are dedicated drop-off and pick-up points in front of the museum's main entrance.

Dining at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Fouquet's Abu Dhabi
Fouquet's Abu Dhabi

Fouquet's Abu Dhabi brings world-class French cuisine to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, the restaurant offers an exquisite menu blending classic French dishes with contemporary and international twists.
Opening hours: Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday/ Sunday: 12pm to 12am (last order at 10pm) Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 1am (last order at 10:30pm). Closed on Mondays.

Aptitude Café
Aptitude Cafe

Aptitude Café offers a perfect blend of delectable cuisine and breathtaking city views. You can unwind, socialize, and capture memorable photos of the museum. The café boasts an extensive menu featuring hot dishes, breakfast favorites, beloved pastries, and specialty coffee that keep regulars coming back for more.
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 10pm

Museum Café
Museum Café

Located in the heart of the museum, the Museum Café is a vibrant spot to refuel and relax during your visit. Enjoy a delightful selection of light snacks, refreshing beverages, and delectable treats. Grab a quick bite or linger over a cup of coffee while discussing your favorite exhibits.
Opening hours: Weekdays (Tue – Thurs) 10am – 7pm (last orders 6.15 pm) & Weekends (Fri – Sun) 10am – 9pm (last orders 8pm). Closed on Mondays

Insider tips

  • If you're interested in learning more about the artefacts and the architecture from local experts, opting for a tour guide is well wroth the extra cost.
  • Each of the galleries are numbered, making it easy for visitors to follow the sequence and explore all 12 chapters of world history.
  • The architecture of Louvre Abu Dhabi is just as impressive as the artifacts it houses. Be sure to spend sometime admiring the outdoor pools and overall structure.
  • The museum city is huge; make the most of your experience by allotting plenty of time to enjoy the place to its fullest. We recommend a full day.

Louvre Abu Dhabi quick facts

louvre abu dhabi - Quick Facts

  • The floating dome, which is the identifying feature of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, is an eight-layered blanket of honeycombed steel and aluminium, weighing almost as much as the Eiffel Tower (7,300 tonnes)!
  • The combination of filtered light that enters from the dome, reflective surfaces, and stone floors lend the museum its own microclimate, keeping the temperature nice and 2 degrees cooler than outside.
  • Over 503,000 cubic meters of sand was moved to lay the foundation of the museum.
  • The geometric structure of the dome has 7,850 stars shining down at the museum with rays of light.
  • There is going to be a 1 km long underground tunnel that will connect the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.


How much is the ticket for Louvre museum Abu Dhabi?

Standard Louvre Abu Dhabi tickets cost AED 63 (US$ 17) for adults, AED 31,5 (US$ 9) for young adults aged from 13 to 22 years old and seniors aged over 65 years old. Children aged under 13 years old may enter the museum for free

What is shown in Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi?

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.

What is the most expensive artwork at the Abu Dhabi Louvre Museum?

Known as the most expensive painting in the world (awarded $450.3 million in 2017), “Salvator Mundi” by Italian Leonardo da Vinci was hosted by the Louvre Abu Dhabi in November 2017.

Is Louvre Abu Dhabi free for kids?

We recommend purchasing tickets online, to avoid queues when you enter. Tickets to the Louvre Abu Dhabi cost 60 AED. Children between the ages of 13 and 22, as well as students studying at a UAE educational institution, receive half-price tickets. Furthermore, children under the age of 13 can enter for free.

Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi