After three days of intense uber-focused and a strict schedule of everything hockey, we had our first day off (April 18th) from the IIHF WCCOA tournament. Bearing in mind that we still had one more game the following day, we decided to take it easy and explore the city slowly.
The obvious most chill thing to do was visit the incredible Louvre Art and Civilisation Museum. From our hotel at the Park Arjaan by Rotana, we took a twenty-five-minute taxi ride; a little heads up, the fare was steep. I’ll be getting to the details in a bit.
A Globe-Trotting Journey Through Time
This new museum was a result of an intergovernmental agreement between UAE and France aiming at promoting tolerance and culture and so in late 2017, the museum was inaugurated by the French President Emmanuel Macron and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Al Zayed bin Al Nahyan.
What’s fascinating is that this unique museum is steeped with incredible artefacts charting the history of art and the creative evolution of mankind. You’ll find 650 permanent artwork including pieces from Leonardo Da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh.
Personally, I don’t obsess over them but was rather intrigued by how long their artwork has lived through the ages. I couldn’t turn around every corner and not wonder how on earth did these people manage to create intricate pieces with such great detail during their time.
Take this exhibit for instance. This mammoth tapestry dominates an entire wall of the gallery and was made in Northern Europe in the 16th-century. Interestingly if you look to the left, the figure in blue is none other than the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar himself! His clothing was a display of the early 16th-century fashion. The tapestry itself was created to glorify rulers and kingdoms of his time.
This was just one out of the twelve galleries we walked through. Each gallery exhibits world-class collections of humanity’s artistic traces and achievements from the Neolithic era up to the present day.
A little different than the traditional museum curation, here the displays and artworks are grouped together by theme and time-frame instead of by country and specific civilisation.
In a separate building, the museum houses temporary displays, a children’s museum and the museum cafe. Which was great because we got to sit and chill for a minute before leaving.
Jean Nouvel’s Domed Roof Creation
All buildings are grouped together around a central plaza that juts out straight into the sandy shores of Saadiyat Island. It sort of looks like an upturned colander washed up on the beach but is actually a metallic-domed roof that provides an elaborate 7500-ton filigree shade.
The dome was inspired by the date-palm-leaf and was built with eight different layers resulting in a geometric 7850-stars design that dapples to the plaza floor below with a rain of light effect.
Getting to The Louvre
Getting there by car is the best option.
If you’re not driving, like us you can get rides via taxi, Uber or Careem. Something worth noting about their fares is that they will always have a flagfall fare in addition to the metered fare.
Flagfall Fare: 3 to 5 AED (6am – 10pm). Other times, fares can go from 4 AED to 5.50 AED.
Additional Metered Fare: 1.82 AED /km
For a 22km ride from our hotel, our fare amounted to AED 47 (give or take), split among the four of us. If you want to know fares before you jump in a taxi, use Taxi Fare Finder to get estimates.
Public Bus: Find public bus route 94 that stops at Louvre Abu Dhabi (Saadiyat Island).
Entry into The Louvre
We really did not plan on how to get entry to the Louvre. We had just decided to go to the museum the night before, hop on a taxi and hoped that we could get tickets with no struggles whatsoever. And we did! The queue wasn’t long and it didn’t take too long for us to get in.
But don’t fret. You can get your tickets online too. Probably ideal if you’re bringing kids or if you have no time to waste.
As for time spent in the museum, I reckon if you are really into each gallery, you could end up spending roughly two hours. My friends and I spent about 3 hours which included a short chill session at the museum’s cafe.
General Admission: AED 60
Age 13-22 years old: AED 30
Auditorium or workshop ticket holder: AED 30
Opens every day except Mondays.
Saturday – Wednesdays (except Monday): 10am to 8pm
Thursday and Friday: 10am to 10pm
Heading to The Louvre Abu Dhabi? I have a little snippet on my Instastory of what we saw in the museum. Head there now!