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Residents excited as Louvre Abu Dhabi launch nears

Both Emiratis and expats say they can’t wait to explore the world inside the magnificent structure

Image Credit: Supplied
Louvre Abu Dhabi will house 23 permanent galleries, children’s museum, restaurants, retail and a research centre among others.

ABU DHABI: With just two days to go before the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors to the public, the excitement is visible among residents in the capital.

“I have waited long for this moment. It was 10 years ago when it was announced that Abu Dhabi would have a Louvre. I was excited then, I am more excited now,” says long-time Abu Dhabi resident Sanjay Kumar.

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum boasts 23 permanent galleries, exhibition galleries, children’s museum, auditorium, restaurants, retail and a research centre.

“Louvre Abu Dhabi will provide visitors a glimpse of different cultures, art forms and history of the world as well as that of the UAE. In doing so, it will bring people together and provide an opportunity to learn and appreciate cultural differences and similarities,” says Emirati Abdullah Al Sharqi, a former member of the Federal National Council.

Indian artist Meghna Shah, who has participated in many art exhibitions, says the Louvre Abu Dhabi will help open new avenues for artists in the UAE. “It will draw international art connoisseurs into the UAE giving opportunities for people like me to understand new ideas and techniques,” she said.

A class apart

The museum will serve as a historical narrative taking visitors on a journey from the ancient times to the present day. Multimedia guides and animated maps will help one appreciate the items on display.

Among its 600 exhibits about half belong to its permanent collection with the rest loaned from 13 major French cultural institutions including the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

One of the museum’s most stunning features is its dome with its ‘rain of light’, inspired by the shadows of overlapping palm trees in an oasis.

“I look forward to seeing the elements of water, light and shadow incorporated in the dome. Standing under it and understanding its architectural marvel will be an experience in itself,” said American art teacher Lindy Tinnin, who has been awaiting the opening since she moved to Abu Dhabi a year ago.

Four-day celebration

November 11

10am–10pm: Museum open to the public

10am–11am: Al Ayyala – Traditional Emirati dance performance by Mubarak Al Otaiba’s group.

11am-5pm: Dance Action – Performances in the galleries by Lucinda Childs Dance Company

3pm–3.30pm: Dogon Masked Dance by The Awa Troupe of Sangha from Mali in West Africa

4pm: Etihad A380 fly-past

4pm–5pm: Parade of Lions and Dragon by the Zhejiang Wu Opera Researcg Centre troupe.

5pm–7pm: Music concert by Emirati composer Faisal Al Saari

6pm-7pm: Concert by Korean musical ensemble with French jazz musician Nguyên Lê

7.30pm–750 pm: Museum Reflections /Vives Réflexions – Audio-visual performance by Groupe F

9pm– 10.20pm: Headline act by – M –

November 12

10am–10pm: Museum open to the public

6pm–7pm: Parade of Lions and Dragon

7pm–8pm: Music TV - a video montage of TV footafe from 1970s and 80s by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina

9pm–10.15 pm: Headline act featuring Mali singer Fatoumata Diawara

November 13

10am–10pm: Museum open to the public

6pm–7pm: Almasty Almasty -- Dancer Deborah Lary to perform a solo piece by choreographer Myriam Gourfink

6pm–6.45pm: VA/nimonimo - dance show by Samoan and New Zealand choreographer Lemi Ponifasio

7.30pm–8.30pm: A Stream of Love - a concert by French sound artist Drfloy and Hindustani classical vocalist Sumathi

9pm–10pm: Headline act featuring French-Lebanese trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf

November 14

10am–10pm: Museum open to the public

6pm–7pm: Le Eleele – dance show by Samoan and New Zealand choreographer Lemi Ponifasio

7.30pm–9pm: Indian ragas by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

9pm– 10.10 pm: Headline act featuring Colombian singer Totó La Momposina

Admission fee: Dh60 (Dh30 visitors aged 13-22 and academic professionals); free for those below 13 (separate tickets apply for headline acts). For more info, go to

The writer is an Abu Dhabi-based freelancer


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