Just recently the Louvre Abu Dhabi (or Louvre 2 as some call it) celebrated its one year anniversary. While some inclement weather put a literal damper on celebrations, the success and marvelousness of this enterprise has exceeded expectations.
As the capital of the UAE and constantly in the shadow of better known Dubai, Abu Dhabi is also on a trajectory of expansion, diversification and progress. The aim of the expansion has a more cultural essence to it. Think the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the various offices of archives, patrimony and heritage. Even the local mangroves are being restored and protected in an attempt to solidify the country’s rich and diverse history. The Louvre then is one of the newest and best examples of the desire to make Abu Dhabi a cultural beacon in the United Arab Emirates.
Our visit took place on a standard weekday towards the end of the hot low season. There were no crowds or lines to contend with and even in a higher season this isn’t really an issue as the museum is built in an expansive and modern layout. There is free parking, a taxi stand, a bus stop and many more amenities for assisting people in and out of the museum.
Once inside you pass through security and move to the ticket counters. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time and the museum is open every day except Mondays from 10am till 8pm. Thursdays and Fridays it is open till 10pm. The estimated time to walk the 12 galleries is around an hour and a half.
Guided tours are offered every 15 minutes to give people a demonstration of what to best expect from the museum and there are of course audio guides available for rent in several languages. Tickets cost 63 AED at normal price and special rates for students, children and local teachers is 31.5 AED.
Over 700 works of art are on display at any given time of which half are from France. There are constantly changing exhibitions and intriguing artifacts exchanged between various museums across the globe. Being arguably the most notorious “brand name” in museums in the world has its perks to call in Monet, Da Vinci and Van Gogh just to name a few.
There are many impressive artifacts from the Middle East and North Africa that have been unearthed in recent years and are displayed in their native region.