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Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Greg Garay

Our Story

Louvre Abu Dhabi is a new cultural beacon, bringing different cultures together to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity.

A pioneering cultural project
The origins of Louvre Abu Dhabi date back to March 2007. The UAE and France formed an unprecedented partnership for cultural exchange, and the highlight of this would be the establishment of Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. The partnership would combine the UAE’s bold vision of cultural progression and openness, with France’s expertise in the world of art and museums. It would explore the shared themes that reveal and connect humanity.

The result is Louvre Abu Dhabi. It represents the dynamic nature of the contemporary Arab world while celebrating the region’s vibrant multicultural heritage. Agence France-Muséums – 17 of France’s most renowned cultural institutions – coordinates the loan of artworks to this UAE museum and provides management expertise.

A universal museum in the Arab world

What does it mean to be universal? For Louvre Abu Dhabi it means focusing on what unites us: the stories of human creativity. The museum brings different cultures together to shine fresh light on these common stories of humanity, beyond individual civilisations, times or places.

This philosophy guides the museum in everything it does, from its foundation as a collaboration between two cultures, to the dazzling architecture that combines French design with Arabic heritage.

Louvre Abu Dhabi champions cultural achievements from prehistory to the present day. The galleries are not separated by geography but set in chronological order. The aim is to encourage respect, curiosity, learning and self-reflection.

Our Acquisitions Policy

Louvre Abu Dhabi applies a strict international protocol for artworks entering the collection, as outlined in the intergovernmental agreement between Abu Dhabi and France, signed in 2007. This protocol is strictly aligned with the 1970 UNESCO convention and follows the most demanding standards of major museums in the world.

In conjunction with the Musée du Louvre and the authorities of Abu Dhabi, works are selected for acquisition by Louvre Abu Dhabi based on art historical importance, condition, provenance, and curatorial narrative in telling stories of cultural connections that span a diversity of histories and geographies, from the Palaeolithic era to present day.

Institutional governance established for acquisitions ensures that, first and foremost, a rigorous assessment of provenance is adhered to. Every object previously acquired or under review for future acquisition is thoroughly assessed, researched, and approved by an acquisitions committee.

Members of the committee representing Abu Dhabi and France include leading curators whose specialist expertise spans the art historical periods reflected in our collection strategy.

The acquisition committee is chaired by HE Mohamad Al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, with Vice-Chairman, Jean-Luc Martinez, President, Musée du Louvre.

Louvre Abu Dhabi / Photo Seeing Things – Ismail Noor
Rembrandt van Rijn Head of a young man, with clasped hands: Study of the Figure of Christ, ca. 1648-56 ca. 1648–56 Oil and oak panel 25.5 x 20.1 cm © Louvre Abu Dhabi / Photo by Seeing Things – Ismail Noor
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