This magnificent museum just opened – here’s all you need to know

Planning your first trip to Louvre Abu Dhabi? Here are a few things you need to know…

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Louvre Abu Dhabi is finally open and people in the capital and across the UAE are finally taking their first steps inside the iconic dome.

With so much to see, experience and take in, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and miss things when you make your first visit.

Here’s what you can expect to see when you visit the museum for the first time and a few of our own tips so that you can make the most of the experience.

On display

There are 620 items in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection, including 300 on loan from museums in France and the US.

Spread between a total of 23 galleries, these are split into 12 chapters, each documenting and highlighting a specific era of history.

The first gallery, The First Villages, features work dating back as far as 6,500 BCE when humans started to live together in settlements in the Near East, China and Central America.

Galleries two, three and four, The First Great Powers, Civilisations and Empires and Universal Religions, document human progress until the beginning of the Christian Empire, with works from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia.

In galleries five, six and seven, Asian Trade Routes, From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and The World in Perspective, visitors can see works from the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic and Christian world up to European Renaissance.

On display in galleries eight, nine, ten, eleven and twelve, The Magnificence of the Court, A New Art of Living, A Modern World?, Challenging Modernity and A Global Stage, pieces from the 17th century all the way up to 21st century take centre stage, bringing the history of mankind up until the modern day.

In addition, a children’s gallery, targeted at youngsters aged between six and 12, allows little ones to explore their imagination, enjoy pieces displayed at their eye level and engage in activates to enhance their experience.

If you really don’t want to miss anything during your visit you can take a guided tour to learn more about the exhibits on display. Audio is provided in a number of languages including French, Spanish, Hindi and Japanese. These last about 45 minutes and can provide extra insight on things you might miss.

A walk-through of the entire museum should take around two hours, but with temporary exhibitions, workshops and the children’s gallery, a family could spend the entire day inside.

Louvre will also host four temporary exhibitions each year, with the first, From One Louvre to Another, beginning on 21st December.

Not to be missed

Louvre Abu Dhabi is full of wonders from the ages, but here are some highlights you should seek out.

Art

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  •  ‘La Belle Ferronnière’ by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1490
  • ‘Self Portrait’ by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887
  • ‘Portrait of a Woman’ by Pablo Picasso, 1928
  • ‘Number 26A: Black and White’ by Jackson Pollock, 1948

Statues

  • ‘Bactrian Princess’, beginning of second millennium BCE
  • ‘Gudea, Prince of Lagash’, circa 2120 BC
  • ‘King Ramesses II’, 1279 – 1213 BCE
  • ‘Shiva Dancing’, second half of 10th century AD

Planning your visit

If you’re not a fan of queues you can save time by purchasing your ticket online at louvreabudhabi.ae.

Parking is free, but during busy times when the museum is full you will have to park at the overflow car park and get a bus to the entrance.

If you don’t have a car you can take a bus; plan your route using the DARB app.

The museum is wheelchair accessible and allows strollers so the whole family can visit.

Photography, including mobile phones, are permitted but flash photography isn’t.

Finally, and most importantly, you can get up close to some incredible pieces, but don’t touch anything. Many of the exhibited artworks and sculptures are incredibly fragile so be respectful.

Need to know

Location: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Cultural District, Saadiyat Island
Cost: AED 60 for adults, AED 30 for ages 13 to 22, free for under 13s
Time: Sat-Sun and Tue-Wed 10am-8pm and Thu-Fri 10am-10pm
Contact: 600 56 5566, louvreabudhabi.ae

WORDS Colin Armstrong
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