The long-anticipated Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi will be opening its doors on the 11th November 2017, after more than a decade of planning. Designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, the building – which has the name of the beloved Paris institution on loan for 30 years – forms a museum-city, set under a vast 180-metre silver dome comprised of almost 8,000 geometric metal stars. The sunlight that filters through the dome mimics the shadow and light of moving overlapping palm fronds. The museum and its exhibits are designed to appear as if floating, connected by walkways and completely surrounded by the waters of the Persian Gulf.
The museum will have almost 700 exhibits on display; approximately half of which will consist of loans from French museums including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou. Highlights include Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452–1519) La Belle Ferronnière, Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) self-portrait, and Jacques-Louis David’s (1748–1825) Napoleon Crossing the Alps. Permanent artefacts on display will have a focus on universal civilisations and cultures, with galleries divided according to common ideas rather than origin.
The Louvre is one of three museums that will reside on Abu Dhabi’s ambitious Saadiyat Island alongside the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum. All three will have been designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects. The development is intended to become the city’s new cultural and business hub and is just a short drive from The St. Regis Saadiyat Hotel and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas.