Louvre Abu Dhabi announces new exhibitions, events

The new season explores the many geographic paths and singular voices that have created significant artistic and cultural connections across the globe. In celebration of the UAE’s 50th National Day and the museum’s own fourth anniversary on November 11, Louvre Abu Dhabi will offer a range of programming and events celebrating global exchange and connectivity with Abu Dhabi and UAE, according to a statement issued on Monday.

Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “As the UAE welcomes the world over the coming months, Louvre Abu Dhabi will offer something for everyone in this upcoming season of exhibitions, events and programming. New international exhibitions, new acquisitions and masterpieces on loan will join a display of works from each of the seven emirates. In this extraordinary Jubilee year, we remain resilient and deeply rooted in our community, committed to our mission of telling stories of cultural connections throughout this season, beginning with Dragon & Phoenix.”

Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director, added: “Through collaboration with our generous network of partners, we are able to present masterworks on loan alongside our permanent collection, rather than taking an approach of encyclopaedic and exhaustive acquisition. Through telling these constantly refreshed stories in this way, we are building a national collection for the people of the UAE.”


A new exhibition, held in partnership with the Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet and curated by Sophie Makariou, will look at artistic and cultural exchanges between China and the Islamic world. Running from October 6, 2021 – February 12, 2022, Dragon and Phoenix – Centuries of Exchange between Chinese and Islamic Worlds explores this history of mutual exchange and fascination, unfolding over five chapters and featuring immersive scenography chronicling the 8th–18th centuries.

Complementing the exhibition will be a selection of hand-picked weekend family film screenings and kayak cinema shows in November and December. In addition, Dragon Boats will join the popular, ongoing yoga and kayaking activities at the museum.

50th National Day celebrations

In celebration of the UAE’s 50th National Day, Louvre Abu Dhabi will display artworks from each of the seven emirates – including loans from national museums and institutions such as the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and Dubai Municipality.

Returning visitors to the museum will be greeted by an entirely new pairing of works upon entry – the bronze sculpture The Words I Love Most by Egyptian artist Ghada Amer (2012) on loan from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in dialogue with the new acquisition Series of eight allegories attributed to Jacob de Backer (Antwerp, active between 1571 and 1585). Both works explore the infinite possibilities of word and image in expressing complex human and societal values, such as love, charity and hope. These are universal, moral guideposts which, although represented differently, continue to connect civilisations across time and geographies.

Art prize

Through a joint collaboration with Swiss watchmakers Richard Mille, Louvre Abu Dhabi has established an annual exhibition and art prize for contemporary artists. The inaugural exhibition Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 will feature all shortlisted, UAE-based artists’ proposals from November 18, 2021 to March 27, 2022 in the Forum.

From these shortlisted artists, one will be selected as the winner of the Richard Mille Art Prize and awarded $50,000.

The first international exhibition of 2022, Versailles and the World (January 26 – June 4, 2022), will be held in partnership with musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon and tells the story of Versailles as a central diplomatic instrument that solidified the prowess of the French royal court and served as the stage for its fascination with various civilisations in a rapidly globalising world. This exhibition is curated by Hélène Delalex, Curator, Furniture and Decorative Arts, and Bertrand Rondot, Chief Curator, Furniture and Decorative Arts, at the musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.

Delving into one medium that is crucial to artistic production, documentation, and communication, Stories of Paper (April – July 2022) will trace the origins of paper in all its forms, from ancient China and the Islamic world, to contemporary global societies. Organised with Musée du Louvre, this exhibition is curated by Xavier Salmon, director of the Drawings and Prints department at Musée du Louvre and Victor Hundsbuckler, curator at the same department.

The Emotions! The New Art Adventure exhibition also continues in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Children’s Museum. Children and families navigate three floors of interactive activities, artworks, and games to explore four key emotions: joy, sadness, fear, and anger. Children can learn to let unpleasant feelings go, explore ways cultivate happiness, and come away understanding all emotions. Access to the museum and the exhibition is free to all children under 18

New loans and acquisitions

Coinciding with the museum’s anniversary, 59 new loans and 56 new acquisitions will go on view in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s galleries. Works on loan come from lending institutions within the France Muséums network, along with regional and local partners. These artworks will be installed among those in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection.

Events and Workshops

As part of its Research Programme, Louvre Abu Dhabi is presenting a talk series in collaboration with Cartier at the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, using artworks from the museum’s collection to initiate discussions on landmark moments in women’s history.

To celebrate the nation’s Jubilee, December will see the museum’s iconic dome transformed into an audio-visual installation reflecting 50 years of the UAE, including a roller-skating rink for an event in collaboration with Madrollers, open to children in the afternoon and to young people in the evening.

The event will consist of dynamic, digital wall-mapping showcasing images and videos of the UAE over the past five decades, alongside a DJ playing nostalgic Emirati music. Tickets are priced at Dh150.

The museum’s #MakeandPlay initiative will continue in the form of videos online and drop-in sessions at the museum.

These events will run alongside the ongoing programming directed at senior Emirati citizens and People of Determination.

Starting again from November 3 with the Wednesday Dome edition allowing visitors to enjoy complimentary access under the dome from 6:30pm–9pm. The evenings will be themed, offering programming such as poetry and film screenings, and special dining options will be on offer at the museum’s food outlets.

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