Created by an exceptional agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France signed in 2007, Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by Jean Nouvel and opened on Saadiyat Island in November 2017.
The museum’s growing collection is unparalleled in the region and spans thousands of years of human history, including prehistoric tools, artefacts, religious texts, iconic paintings and contemporary artworks. The name of “Louvre” is licensed to Abu Dhabi for 30 years and 6 months from the date of the signature of the agreement.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is overseen by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the entity that develops and promotes the emirate of Abu Dhabi as an inspired global destination, rich in cultural authenticity and diverse natural offerings, with the aim of supporting Abu Dhabi’s evolution into an excellent, sustainable destination of distinction.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE AND TOURISM – ABU DHABI
The Department of Culture and Tourism conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction, which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The organisation manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Louvre Abu Dhabi. DCT - Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.
ABOUT AGENCE FRANCE-MUSÉUMS
Agence France-Muséums has been for 10 years a key link between France and the UAE in the accomplishment of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
By gathering for the first time the collections and the expertise of the French cultural institutions involved, AFM has provided since its creation assistance and expertise to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates in the following areas: definition of the scientific and cultural programme, assistance in project management for architecture including museography, signage and multimedia projects, coordination of the loans from French collections and organisation of temporary exhibitions, guidance with the creation of a permanent collection, and support with the museum’s policy on visitors.
AFM now continues its missions for Louvre Abu Dhabi after its opening with the training of the museum’s professionals, the coordination of loans from French museums for 10 years and the organisation of temporary exhibitions for 15 years.
ALONG WITH MUSÉE DU LOUVRE, THERE ARE 16 PRESTIGIOUS FRENCH PARTNERS
Musée du Louvre
A product of the French Revolution of 1789, Musée du Louvre in Paris is widely regarded today as the greatest museum in the world. Today it is an instantly recognisable symbol of excellence within the world of museums.
Founded in 1793, Musée du Louvre is one of the world’s oldest and largest cultural institutions. The museum's collection covers the history of mankind from antiquity to 1848 and from the Americas to Asia. Musée du Louvre’s universal scope is clear from the sheer variety of its collections, its global influence confirmed by the diversity of its nearly 8 million annual visitors. Musée du Louvre is committed to sharing its name and values with Abu Dhabi through this remarkable and innovative project.
Along with Musée du Louvre, there are 16 prestigious partners:
- Musée des Arts décoratifs
- Cité de la Céramique – Sèvres et Limoges
- Musée d’archéologie nationale – Saint Germain en Laye
- Château de Fontainebleau
- Etablissement public de la Réunion des musées nationaux et du Grand Palais
- Ecole du Louvre
- Domaine national de Chambord
- OPPIC (Opérateur du Patrimoine et des Projets Immobiliers de la Culture)
- Musée d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie
- Centre Pompidou
- Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
- Musée national des arts asiatiques-Guimet
- Musée Rodin
- Château de Versailles
- Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge
Displayed in the museum’s first gallery for visitors to explore humanity’s earliest artistic expressions are loans from the UAE, including a precious pendant dating back to 2000-1300 BCE from the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. Also displayed in the gallery is a painted Neolithic vase from the island of Marawah, the oldest ceramic vessel yet discovered in the country. In addition, a fragment of stucco from an ancient church in Sir Bani Yas is shown. These loans embody the UAE’s rich cultural heritage, and tell the story of the country’s strong historic connections with the wider world, completing the universal narrative of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Highlights of loans from the region include a prehistoric stone tool dating back to 350,000 BCE, a milestone indicating the distance from Mecca in Kufic inscriptions, a funerary stele from Mecca dating back to 700–900 CE (100–300 AH) from the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage, a collection of over 400 silver Dirhams Coins from the Abbasid Caliphate of Iraq, the Samanid Dynasty and the Saffarid Dynasty discovered in Sidamah (al-Waqba) in 2005 CE (1425 AH) from the National Museum – Sultanate of Oman, and an 8000-year-old two-headed figure from Jordan’s Department of Antiquities called Ain Ghazal Statue.
- Department of Culture & Tourism - Abu Dhabi
- National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
- Dubai Municipality
- Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage
- National Museum – Sultanate of Oman
- Department of Antiquities of Jordan