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Our Story

A Universal Museum

What does it mean to be universal? For Louvre Abu Dhabi, it is a particular way of seeing the world through art; of using human creation from prehistory to the present to highlight humanity through its commonalities, contrasts and connections as a whole, not isolated across cultures, civilisations and time. This universal mentality can be discovered throughout every aspect of the museum, from its ethos and architecture to its gallery themes and the careful selection and placement of artworks together.

Visitors can approach Louvre Abu Dhabi as a one-of-a-kind journey of questions, intriguing answers and more questions. While it inspires appreciation of beauty and human achievement, it also exists to provoke openness, respect, curiosity and self-reflection, all for the benefit and enlightenment of those who pass through its doors and gather under its dome.

Apart from the Museum Galleries, visitors may also reflect within the promenades or explore outstanding temporary exhibitions in a dedicated space, a children’s museum, auditorium, cafê, restaurant, and museum shops.


French, Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, envisioned a truly unique and remarkable home for Louvre Abu Dhabi - one inspired by the architecture and traditions of the United Arab Emirates, but also reflective of the nation's modern vision and achievements. The result is nothing short of that ambition.

Inspired by the traditional Emirati roofs of thatched palm leaves, the iconic dome 'hovering' above the museum-city is a complex, geometric structure of 7,850 unique stars, repeated at various sizes and angles in eight different layers. To the wonder of visitors, as the sun passes through these perforations in the dome it creates an inspiring, cinematic effect called the 'rain of light'. This showering of light on the galleries and visitors underneath it, represents a number of deeper metaphors as expressed through the museum's universal narrative.


With more than 600 artworks from different cultures and periods already, Louvre Abu Dhabi's permanent collections span millennia, mediums and civilisations, emphasising exchange and the shared human experience. The twelve sequences proceed chronologically with different civilisations developing in parallel, while the 300 masterpieces on loan from 13 key French institutions will rotate throughout the year, refreshing the journey inside the galleries.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will also feature works specially commissioned by renowned, international, contemporary artists, and exhibit them in the outdoor areas and plazas of the museum.


Louvre Abu Dhabi represents one of the largest cultural partnerships ever formed between two countries. The collaboration between Abu Dhabi, the Musée du Louvre and sixteen other French museums and institutional partners creates a new centre of cultural gravity, and offers a world-class museum supported by French expertise.


Birth of a Museum exhibition in Paris and Abu Dhabi. Talking Art Series. The concert Universal Expressions. Since 2009, Louvre Abu Dhabi has organised a diverse public programme to engage audiences of all backgrounds, interests and ages. Its recent Student Ambassador Programme further developed channels of communication with university institutions, establishing a trusted network of students to engage friends and families about the story and national achievement of Louvre Abu Dhabi.