It was exactly a year ago since I stepped inside one of the most captivating museum I had encountered when I took a one month vacation in UAE last November 2018. It took me two attempts to successfully finish touring the museum. First attempt was cut short by a thunderstorm where I wasn’t able to explore the courtyard, and the second attempt was a success even when I arrived almost closing time.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is a revelation in the middle of the desert. It is a gem on the sandy coastline of Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island that could be reached by a public bus or private car.
At a distance, it has a grey metallic unassuming dome that blends with the white sand of the coastline and the industrial surrounding due to its proximity with the port area.
Upon walking towards the entrance, and taking in the façade, the structure inspires awe to the visitors. Its purist forms combined by the serene and quiet surroundings prepares you mentally to the formal curation inside the museum.
The museum was designed by Jean Nouvel, a French Architect, and a Pritzker prize winner. Louvre museum is part of a three year agreement between France and UAE for the tourism development plan in UAE. Louvre museum sits on the cultural district of Abu Dhabi in Saadiyat Island where it will be joined by two other museums, one of which is another Guggenheim museum by Frank Gehry which is currently under construction.
Nouvel’s concept behind the museum is the study of an oasis. The blocks housing the exhibit spaces resembles a traditional middle eastern house and the Dome enveloping the blocks is a deconstruction of palm fronds overlapping to cover the oasis.
It is divided into twelve main boxes denoting twelve milestones in world history that will be experienced sequentially. The exhibit ends to the courtyard covered by the Dome with a 360 view of Saadiyat Island and Abu Dhabi Corniche. There is also an art café where you can also watch the sunset.
Each space of the structure is captivating, and as a lot would say, “Instagram-worthy”. Locals and tourists visit every now and then especially whenever there are new exhibits that usually happens every two to three months.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is open from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays to Wednesdays and 10am to 10pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and museum is closed on Mondays. One day pass is 60 AED but you can check their website for one whole year membership and freebies.