The last time I was in Abu Dhabi four years ago, there was a lot of talk about the development to come that would transform this emirati of 214 islands into a tourism destination – among them, the Saadiyat Cultural District that would comprise the Louvre, Guggenheim and Zayed National Museum.
Well, the Louvre is open and it’s a spectacular piece of architecture built to blend into the desert landscape. What I appreciated the most was the lack of crowds – you pretty much can take your time to explore the 12 galleries without people breathing down your necks and waiting their turns, or hordes blocking your view.
The Louvre: Spectacular piece of architecture built to blend into the desert landscape
You can get your ticket online prior to the visit or use one of the automated ticketing machines. Arm yourself with an audio guide and you’re pretty much set to learn about the history of the world in art.
I did ask staff when Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi”, which had been purchased from Christie’s for US$450m for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, would be displayed – it had been scheduled to be displayed last September – but no one knows.
There’s still a lot of construction going on – the new Arabian-themed Fairmont Hotel, being likened to Atlantis on the Palm in Dubai, looks ready from a distance but no firm date has been set for its opening.
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