LOUVRE (متحف اللوفر أبوظبي)

We spent half a day in Louvre Abu Dhabi (🎟️ 55 AED), designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Jean Nouvel. Gallery buildings are all grouped around a central plaza that juts straight out into the sea and is shaded by the museum’s elaborate 7500-ton filigree dome, which seems to hover mid-air above. The dome pays homage to date-palm-leaf shading with its geometric star design dappling the plaza floor below in a ‘rain of light’ effect.

Through 12 galleries, the world-class collection traces humanity’s artistic achievements from the Neolithic to the present day, breaking all norms of traditional museum curation. Here, artworks are grouped by theme and time frame rather than a country or specific civilization. The result is a globe-trotting journey through human heritage that highlights the universal threads of all cultures.

Highlights include an eerily beautiful 7th-millennium-BC Ain Ghazal statue from Jordan; a 3rd-millennium-BC standing Bactrian princess; a black stone statue of Gudea, prince of Lagash from Iraq’s neo-Summerian era; a 2nd-century Buddhist stupa plaque from India; a 2nd-century bronze lion from Spain; a 15th-century ceramic bust of St Peter of Verona; and paintings by Picasso, Rothko and Miró.

Parking location – Abu Dhabi: 24.531113N 54.402165E (🚻)