Located on the city’s Saadiyat Island, the sleek, modern institution was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and is inspired by the architectural style of homes in the area. It’s comprised of a whopping 55 buildings, 23 of which are dedicated gallery spaces connected by footbridges over the ocean below.
The idea is that visitors will feel as though they’re perusing an ancient Arabian medina as they move between exhibits. The whole thing is covered by a colossal dome that stretches around 180m in diameter and will be connected to the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi via an underground tunnel.
“It’s rather unusual to find a built archipelago in the sea; it is even more uncommon to see that it is protected by a parasol creating a rain of light,” Nouvel said in a statement.
“The possibility of accessing the museum by boat or finding a pontoon to reach it by foot from the shore is equally extraordinary, before being welcomed like a much-awaited visitor waiting to see unique collections, linger in tempting bookstores, or taste local teas, coffees and delicacies,” he added.
Inside, the likes of Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronniere, Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portrait and Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps will be on loan from 13 top French museums, organised chronologically and by theme. A number of special collections – like that from the palace at Versailles – will also be showcased at the state-of-the-art facility on a regular basis.
Regular admission for adults costs $20 (60AED) for adults and $10 (30AED) for students aged 14 to 22 years.
How To Get There
- Fly into Abu Dhabi International Airport
- Take a taxi along Al Falah Road/Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Highway E12
- Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi
(All images courtesy of Mohamed Somji)[qantas_widget code=AUH]Check out Qantas fights to Abu Dhabi.[/qantas_widget]
Kristen Amiet is a previous AWOL editor, bona fide travel addict, sometimes whisky drinker and full-time breakfast food enthusiast.