Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi: Architecture, Timings, Tickets

A Journey through Time and Art within the UAE

Embark on a journey through time and artistic heritage as we delve into the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi. This renowned cultural institution in the heart of the UAE offers a captivating fusion of art, culture, and history.

With masterpieces spanning centuries and diverse origins, it weaves a rich narrative of human history and creativity.

Historical Background: A Tale of Collaboration and Vision

The Louvre Abu Dhabi isn’t just a museum; it’s a testament to the power of collaboration and shared vision. The story behind this unique partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates is a tale of ambition, culture, and diplomacy.

France Meets the UAE: The Birth of a Cultural Icon

In the early 21st century, the visionary leaders of France and the UAE conceived a groundbreaking idea: to create a world-class museum that would bridge the gap between cultures, showcasing the finest art from around the globe. The result was a historic agreement signed in 2007, which marked the beginning of an extraordinary cultural journey.

The collaboration involved the Louvre Museum in Paris, the French government, and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The shared goal was to establish an institution that would be both an architectural marvel and a cultural oasis in the heart of the UAE.

The Construction Timeline: A Work of Art in Itself

The construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi was a complex and meticulous process. It took nearly a decade to bring this magnificent institution to life. The project was managed by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), known for its expertise in creating world-class destinations.

The building’s groundbreaking ceremony took place in 2009, and construction continued through the years with remarkable dedication and precision. The result is an architectural masterpiece designed to inspire and welcome visitors from across the globe.

The Architectural Marvel: A Tribute to Jean Nouvel’s Vision

Louvre Abu Dhabi stands as a testament to the extraordinary vision of renowned architect Jean Nouvel, who designed this masterpiece as the heart of a new urban quarter in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. This architectural wonder, often considered one of the modern metropolitan marvels of the world, seamlessly combines concrete, water, and the subtle play of reflected light to create a unique symphony of design.

A Dome that Defies Gravity

The centerpiece of Nouvel’s vision is the massive silvery dome, which seems to defy gravity as it hovers above the museumcity. Surprisingly, this seemingly weightless structure is a colossus, weighing approximately 7,500 tonnes, similar to the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Inspired by Tradition and Nature

Nouvel’s dome is a tribute to the rich architectural traditions of the region.The museum’s unique location is often talked about as it is strategically placed where the Arabian sky meets the sands of Saadiyat Island. Inspired by the distinctive cupola in Arabic architecture, the dome is a geometric marvel comprising 7,850 stars. These stars are carefully arranged at varying sizes and angles across eight different layers.

A Dance of Light and Shadows

As the sun journeys across the sky, its rays penetrate the dome’s perforations, creating an enchanting phenomenon within the museum known as the ‘rain of light.’ This breathtaking effect, which plays with light and shadow, is inspired by the way palm trees in Abu Dhabi filter and soften the sunlight from above, casting a dappled pattern on the ground.

A Museum-City Amidst Water

Louvre Abu Dhabi is a unique museumcity surrounded by water, welcoming visitors by both land and sea. It mirrors the ambiance of an Arabian medina with 55 buildings, including 23 galleries, all influenced by the low-rise homes of the region.

An Open-air Gallery

Visitors can explore the museumcity through its exterior walkways, providing spaces to pause, contemplate, and discuss the artworks. This arrangement also allows visitors to relish the ever-changing interplay of sunlight, sea, art, and architecture.

Harmony with Nature

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the dome serves an environmental purpose by reducing the energy consumption of the structures beneath it by shading the outdoor plaza from the sun’s intense heat. It also offers an unparalleled experience as you meander through the ‘rain of light.’

An Environmentally Friendly Oasis

Louvre Abu Dhabi is designed with sustainability in mind. It aspires to achieve a ‘Silver LEED’ environmentalexcellence rating and has already received a Three Pearl Estidama Design Rating. The museum creates a comfortable microclimate using passive cooling methods inspired by local culture and traditional regional architecture.

Additionally, it incorporates passive water and energy conservation, highly efficient HVAC systems, as well as ventilation, lighting, and sanitary fittings.

The Details and Dimensions

  • The total weight of the dome: 7,500 tonnes, equivalent to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • Layers of the dome: 8 layers, with 4 outer layers of stainless steel and 4 inner layers of aluminum.
  • Number of ‘stars’ in the dome’s pattern: 7,850.
  • The diameter of the largest ‘star’: 13 meters, weighing 1.3 tonnes.
  • The number of piers supporting the ‘floating’ dome: 4, each hidden within the structure and 110 meters apart.
  • The diameter of the dome’s base: 180 meters.
  • Level of the building above the sea: 40 meters.
  • Level of the dome above ground: 36 meters.

Collections and Masterpieces

The heart of the Louvre Abu Dhabi lies within its remarkable art collections. The museum’s diverse and extensive holdings showcase art from around the world, spanning millennia of history. The collections are divided into 4 sections:

First Villages

At the core of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collections are the artifacts from the dawn of human civilization. These relics from the first villages provide a remarkable window into the lives of our ancient ancestors.

The collection includes enigmatic female figurines, hand axes that served as early tools, intricately decorated jars, and the captivating plank idol with two heads.

Step back in time as you explore the representation of a woman dressed in a woolen garment, a testament to the fashion of an era long past.

First Great Powers

From the early civilizations that emerged, we move to the era of the first great powers. The collection is a treasure trove of artifacts that symbolize the might and grandeur of these ancient empires.

Among them, you’ll discover a pyramidion inscribed with the name of Huy, a vase adorned with a double-headed axe, a decadrachm featuring the image of the nymph Arethusa, and a lion bracelet that speaks of strength and courage.

Explore the funerary servant crafted for Pharaoh Seti I, a garment hook, an image of Osiris, the god of the underworld, and a mummy bandage with excerpts from the Book of the Dead.

Civilizations and Empires

The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collections encompass the great civilizations and empires that have left an indelible mark on history. Here, you’ll find a man dressed in a Roman toga, an intricately designed brooch, a fragment of a monumental statue featuring the head of a Roman emperor, and a kneeling figure that embodies humility and grace.

The collection also includes a mirror adorned with Taoist divinities, a vase with intricate floral decorations, and ceremonial vessels that reflect the splendor of their respective eras. Explore the Bodhisattva, a shrine in the form of a stupa, Buddha heads that exude tranquillity, and a captivating winged dragon. The military helmet stands as a testament to the art and craftsmanship of war.

Universal Religions

The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collections celebrate the rise of universal religions that have shaped the beliefs and practices of millions.

From Christian icons to Islamic texts and Buddhist sculptures, this collection is a testament to the diversity of human spirituality. Explore the image of Christ showing his wounds, a Gospel in Old Church Slavonic, and exquisite representations of the Virgin and Child.

Delve into the intricacies of a reliquary casket featuring the Three Magi, a Latin Bible in two volumes, and the “Hours of Marie,” a precious book of hours.

The Buddha heads, Shō-Kannon, and Romanesque capitals showcase the spiritual diversity that has enriched human history. The architectural frieze, adorned with Quranic verses, provides a glimpse into the intersection of art and faith.

Explore the Pentateuch and its binding, the dancing Shiva, and the Juz’ Amma, the 30th section of the Holy Quran. Pages of the Blue Quran, a Stupa revetment plaque, and the Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Verses invite you to contemplate the depth of human spirituality.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collections also feature a palimpsest Quran leaf in Hijazi script, a book cover depicting Christ in majesty, ancestor figures, and a Quran commissioned by SultanAbdullah II al Sa’adi.

These diverse collections at the Louvre Abu Dhabi reflect the tapestry of human history and offer a journey through the art, culture, and spirituality of different eras and civilizations.

Cultural Significance: Bridging Nations Through Art

Art has a long history of transcending boundaries, and the museum, with its diverse and inclusive collections, exemplifies art’s power as a diplomatic language.In the UAE, it occupies a unique position as the Arab world’s first universal museum, fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding.

Hosting exhibitions from worldwide institutions, it actively engages in cultural exchange, enriching the UAE’s cultural tapestry and reinforcing international bonds.

Entry Tickets, Opening Hours & Guided Tours

Ensure you get seamless entry to the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi with essential information on ticket prices, types, and booking options.

Ticket Prices (inclusive of VAT)

  • Adults 18+: AED 63.00
  • Under 18, Above 60+ for UAE senior nationals and residents, Art Club members with one guest, Youth and Teacher Pass holders, ICOM/ICOMOS Card Holders, Journalists, and People of Determination with one companion: Free

Note: Your admission ticket grants access to the Museum Galleries, exhibitions, the captivating outdoor plazas beneath the iconic dome, the museum café, Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi, and the boutique.

Opening Hours

  • Louvre Abu Dhabi welcomes you from 10 am to midnight.
  • Galleries and exhibitions close at 6:30 pm on weekdays and 8:30 pm from Friday to Sunday.
  • The Museum Café closes at 8 pm on weekdays and 10 pm on weekends (Friday to Sunday).
  • Aptitude Café closes at 10 pm daily.
  • The Dome remains open until midnight, with the last entry at 11 pm.
  • The museum is closed on Mondays.

Please Note: Some galleries may be temporarily closed during the installation of new artwork.


Single Express Tour (Tue – Sun)

Delve into the museum’s treasures with a knowledgeable Museum Educator exploring all the highlights and collections.

Price: AED 50 (18+).

Group Express Tours (Tue – Sun)

You get a guided visit with a Museum Educator. These 45-minute tours allow you to explore highlights from the museum collection, international exhibitions, or remarkable architecture.

Price: AED 600 (for 25 people).

Schools and Universities Programme

This program offers both onsite and online activities with thematic sessions led by a Museum Educator. It provides flexibility in interpreting and understanding the collection. You can also plan self-led visits to the museum galleries and exhibitions.

  • Onsite Interactive Guided Tours (Daily except Mondays): 60 minutes, Price: AED 375 (for 25 students).
  • Self-Led Tour (Daily except Mondays): 60 minutes, Price: AED 125 (for 25 students).
  • Online Interactive Session (Daily except Mondays): 45 minutes, Price: AED 280 (for 25 students).

All guided visits adhere to Abu Dhabi Government guidelines. French and other languages are available upon request and subject to availability.

Group Mindful Art Moments (Tue – Sun)

Experience a guided mindful journey with a Museum Educator, including a 45-minute tour and workshop focused on a selected artwork in the museum collection.

Price: AED 600 (up to 25 people).

Note: For further information or pre-booking, contact the call center at +971 600 56 55 66.

Museum Facilities: Enhancing Your Visit

  • Parking: Paid valet parking ensures convenient access.
  • Wi-Fi: Enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the museum.
  • Cloakrooms: Secure your belongings at available cloakrooms.
  • ATM: You can find an ATM conveniently situated near the ticket desk.
  • Accessibility: Wheelchairs and strollers are available for complimentary loan from the Loan Desk.
  • Toilets: Restrooms are available throughout the site.
  • Prayer Rooms: Find prayer rooms on level -1.
  • First Aid: Located on level -1.

Dine & Shop

Visitors to the Louvre Abu Dhabi will get access to dining and shopping within the museum’s premises.

From tantalizing cuisine that fuses Emirati and European flavors to an eclectic boutique filled with art-inspired treasures, there’s something to satiate every palate and indulge every shopper’s curiosity. The options include:

The Boutique

Discover a world of art in the Boutique. It’s a treasure trove of art books, unique gifts, and stationery celebrating artists’ works. Their extensive selection spans history and cultures, offering a wide array of unique objects, homeware, fine souvenirs, and miniature artifacts from great civilizations. There’s something for everyone, including a children’s range and a variety of books not commonly found elsewhere in the UAE.

Museum Café

Savor Emirati and European flavors at the Museum Café while relishing stunning sea and skyline views. The café provides delightful dishes, a convenient Grab & Go service, and a special kid’s menu.

Aptitude Café

Boasting one of the city’s best views, the Aptitude Café is a place to enjoy refreshments, relax with friends, and capture striking images of the museum. Indulge in a wide selection of irresistible treats, including hot dishes, breakfast items, pastries, and specialty coffee.

Art Lounge

The Art Lounge provides an elegant outdoor setting with clear vistas of the Abu Dhabi skyline. With a contemporary design concept, it’s one of the city’s best sunset lounges, perfect for post-gallery visit relaxation.

Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi

Embark on a fine dining journey in the heart of the museum at Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi. This renowned restaurant is synonymous with French brasserie dining. Collaborating with Michelin star-winning chef Pierre Gagnaire, the restaurant champions classic French cooking, featuring Fouquet’s signature dishes and contemporary international and traditional cuisine.

Marta Bar

Situated above Fouquet’s restaurant, Marta Bar offers a unique and intimate atmosphere. Transition seamlessly from day to night, enjoying a laid-back, luxurious ambiance. This speakeasy-style bar welcomes guests after museum hours and offers drinks and light bites.

How to Get There: Navigating Your Journey

The Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi is located on Saadiyat Island, which is approximately a 30-minute drive from the city center of Abu Dhabi. Here are the general directions to reach the museum:

By Car

From Abu Dhabi City

Depart from the Corniche or Mina Port and follow the signs to Saadiyat Island / Louvre Abu Dhabi. Drive along Sheikh Khalifa Highway E12 and proceed on Yas Highway to the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island. Clear road signs along the highway will guide you to the museum.

From Dubai on E11 or Yas Island

Take the Saadiyat Island / Yas Island exit onto Sheikh Khalifa Highway E12, then continue on Yas Highway until you reach the Cultural District and Louvre Abu Dhabi. Follow the road signs from the highway to the museum.

By Bus

  • If you’re travelling within Abu Dhabi city, consider taking city bus number 94.
  • For visitors, the ‘Visit Abu Dhabi Shuttle Bus’ provides a convenient option.

On The Cultural Express (From Dubai)

Enjoy a hassle-free round trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi with the Cultural Express. The shuttle serves only two stops: Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr al Watan. Departure is from Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel, Dubai, at 9:00 am, and returns from Qasr al Watan at 6:00 pm and from Louvre Abu Dhabi at 6:35 pm. No booking is required, but seats are limited.

By Taxi

A designated drop-off/pick-up point is conveniently located just in front of the museum’s main entrance at the visitor car park.

By Boat

You can take advantage of the water taxi service, offering a unique journey from Marsa Mina, Abu Dhabi Port’s Cruise Terminal, to Louvre Abu Dhabi. Tickets for this service can be conveniently purchased through their online ticketing system.

Museum Etiquette: Ensure A Respectful and Enjoyable Visit

As you plan your visit, it’s important to be mindful of museum etiquette.

  • Maintain a respectful and quiet demeanor while inside the museum.
  • Do not touch the artworks or exhibits unless indicated.
  • Dispose of trash in designated bins.
  • Photography for personal use is generally permitted within the museum, except in certain exhibitions where photography is prohibited.
  • Tripods and professional photography equipment are typically not allowed without prior arrangement.
  • Follow all directions provided by museum staff.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings, and do not leave bags or personal items unattended.
  • Ensure the safety and comfort of fellow visitors, especially in crowded areas.

Summing Up

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, a traveler, or someone who appreciates the beauty of cultural exchange, the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi has something special to offerto everyone.

It’s a place where history and modernity meet, where artistic masterpieces inspire, and where cultures come together in harmony. Additionally, it is considered one of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi.

Frequently Asked Questions

More Queries Related to the Museum Listed Here

What is the best time to visit the Louvre?

The optimal times to visit the Louvre are during the evening hours. Entry is typically cut off one hour before closing time. Arriving shortly before closing hours can provide a less crowded and more enjoyable experience.

Is it allowed to carry a backpack into the Louvre?

Size Restrictions: The Louvre allows entry with small bags and backpacks that measure 55cm x 35cm x 20cm or smaller. Larger bags or luggage are not permitted within the museum premises.

Is photography permitted inside the museum?

Visitors are allowed to capture photographs throughout the museum. However, to preserve the artworks and artifacts, the use of flash photography is prohibited in the galleries. For any filming or professional photography requests, please seek approval through the Museum’s press team to obtain the necessary permit.

Is there a dress code for the museum?

Although there is no formal dress code in place, visitors are kindly urged to show consideration for local traditions. It is recommended to dress modestly by wearing clothing that covers the body, especially when visiting Abu Dhabi during the sacred month of Ramadan.

Is the entry free on Sunday?

On Sunday evenings, visitors can enter the museum without a ticket; however, please note that the galleries are closed during these periods.