What do we like about Louvre Abu Dhabi?

We are thankful to Little Prince’s friend D and her mother for our first two visits to Louvre Abu Dhabi. D’s mama is an Art Club Member + 1 (it costs 472.5 AED for unlimited yearly access for the member and a guest). The membership also allows for free entrance to partner museums in France. As of 20180204, children under 13 years enjoy free entry, youth between 13 and 22 years pay 31.5 AED.

Situated in the Saadiyat Island, Louvre Abu Dhabi is one of the architectures [2] that one must see while visiting Abu Dhabi, especially for people who have dreamed to be an architect like me and those who adore great architects (Little Prince has been inspired by Gaudi since he was 4 years old!)

While we do not expect Louvre Abu Dhabi would contain the similar amount of collections as Louvre Paris, we would recommend visitors to enjoy the floating dome of light and shade, which is the centrepiece of the architect Jean Nouvel.

Why is the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome so special?

  1. As I learned from ZBBZ (Dec 2017), Louvre Abu Dhabi is the 1st museum to bear the Louvre name outside France under a 30-year deal worth more than GBP 663 million (SGD 1.19 billion)!
  2. While the dome appears light, it weighs ~ 7,500 tonnes, the same as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  3. It was inspired by the cupola, a unique feature in Arabic architecture.
  4. It was also inspired by the palm trees of Abu Dhabi, in which the leaves dapple and soften the bright sunlight.
  5. It has 7,850 overlapping metal stars that are geometrically repeated at various sizes and angles in 8 different layers.
  6. It allows visitors to enjoy rain of light as the dome filters the sunlight through the perforations in the dome to illuminate the interior.
  7. It’s so spacious and space is conducive for synthesizing ideas.
  8. We could see it from D’s apartment!


On 20180202, we brought some snacks with us [1] so that our little ones would not be hungry in-between our appreciation of arts. We sat near the Children’s Museum, and we could still hear (though not watch) the gamelan performance, which was a ticketed event! D’s mama shared that if D was not around, D’mama would have attended the gamelan event with her husband.

Then, we visited the Exhibition From One Louvre to Another (21 Dec 2017 – 7 Apr 2018). Both D and Little Prince enjoyed the animations that allowed them to travel back in time to France in 17th and 18th century. If there was no political upheaval of the French Revolution, will the great Museum of Louvre be opened to the public?

While Little Prince had not time to visit the Main Galleries and draw a train station, modelling the La gare Saint-Lazare by Claude Monet (the founder of the French Impressionist movement) as he planned, he had a quiet moment to simply draw a Louvre gallery with an arch ceiling, sitting at the end of the Exhibition Hall, as D was hungry. That concluded our visit.


[1] We were so soaked in the atmosphere that we just laid our snacks (blueberries, clementines, strawberries, grapes, pears, 豆干 (dougan), quail eggs that Little Prince peeled in the morning, Rio Mare salatuna Mediterranean recipe which D’s mama liked a lot, packet milk, heart-shaped cheese, Nature Valley crunchy cereal bar and some biscuits) for a feast of taste and colors. I guess it would be our last picnic there as they were getting stricter.

[2] Sites with interesting architectures in Abu Dhabi, in an alphabetical order, include:

  1. Aldar Headquarters (the coin)
  2. Burj Mohammed bin Rashid of World Trade Center
  3. Capital Gate
  4. The Emirates Palace
  5. Etihad Towers
  6. Gate Towers
  7. Louvre Abu Dhabi
  8. Sheikh Zayed Bridge by Zaha Hadid
  9. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
  10. Yas Viceroy

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