Abu Dhabi is the capital of United Arab Emirates and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a well-ordered, industrious city with a pretty waterside location and a true symbol of luxury. It is also known for hosting sports, events, famous for its impressive Mosque and one of the safest cities in the world.
Abu Dhabi is full of incredible attractions that will impress you. It is full of immersive, educational and historical experience. It is the perfect mix of traditional ethos and contemporary culture making it a tourist’s paradise. If you ever want to experience the best of the Middle East, do not return until you have explored the best places to visit. Here’s my top TWO!
1. LOUVRE MUSEUM
In 2007, France and the United Arab Emirates came together to develop a new kind of cultural institution. And the result is a Museum rooted in universal Human Values, the first of its kind in the region, the Louvre. It represents a dynamic nature of the contemporary Arab world while celebrating the region’s multicultural heritage. It also represents a unique opportunity to combine the UAE’s bold vision of cultural progression and openness with France’s expertise in the world of Art and Museum.
The Iconic Louvre is the first universal museum in the Arab World that translates the spirit of openness of cultures. Louvre is one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District. The art-lovers dream displays the works of historical, cultural and sociological significance from ancient times to the contemporary era.
Louvre Abu Dhabi houses over 600 artworks. The works at this Museum were specially chosen to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western Art. And thus, celebrating Abu Dhabi’s position in the crossroad of the globe. You can enjoy and admire impressionist and surrealist paintings from famous painters and historical carvings from Ancient China and Iran.
The Pritzker Architecture Prize
Designed by architect Jean Nouvel, of Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Louvre Abu Dhabi encompasses 9, 200 sqm of galleries including the Permanent Gallery and a Temporary Gallery. The area is enriched from many notable French museums including Musee du Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou. Recreating parts of UAE’s integral cultural elements, Nouvel designed a falaj-inspired water system running through the museum. An ancient Arabian engineering inspired and the orderly lace dome. It borrows inspiration from the interlaced palm leaves which traditionally used as roofing material in many parts of the country. The comparison of different civilizations in the same spaces, the Louvre Abu Dhabi illustrates similarities and exchanges from the shared human experience going beyond geography, nationality, and history.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi becomes the final destination of an urban promenade, a garden on the coast, a cool haven, and a shelter of light during the day and evening. It has aesthetic consistent with its role as a sanctuary for the most precious works of art. Experience a mixture of Western and Eastern art within the Arabian lands and indulge in a multitude of experiences and contemplation. Explore a priceless collection of art and learn about the different civilizations and cultures from around the world.
How to get there?
- From Abu Dhabi City – follow signs for Yas Island and take Sheikh Khalifa Bridge to Saadiyat Island.
- Follow signs off Sheikh Khalifa Highway E12 to the cultural district to Louvre Abu Dhabi. Its the 1st exit after the bridge.
- Plan a visit, choose a ticket and enjoy!
2. QASR AL WATAN
Qasr Al Watan or “Place of Nation” is a presidential palace that opened to the public. It is part of the Presidential Palace and its located at the end of Corniche Road in the Capital past Emirates Palace Hotel. It is the current meeting place of UAE cabinet and Federal Supreme Council. This is where Official state visits of global leaders are hosted. Qasr Al Watan is opened to the public to give visitors the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of UAE’s values and traditions. It is also in line with the UAE’s ambition to become a knowledge-based economy as part of Vision 2021. Which also aims to put UAE up among the world’s best countries by its 50th anniversary in 2021.
Qasr Al Watan has its own library with books on a wide range of subjects. From archaeology, history, heritage, memoirs, biographies, human and social sciences, statistics, administration, up to culture, literature, and arts. It has its own gift shops, one at the Visitors Center and the other at the palace building. One of the major attractions of the palace is its light and sound show, which depicts the history and growth of the UAE as a nation. The “light and sound” show has been divided into three acts, the past, present, and future.
What to See?
You can start your journey through the Arabian History and Heritage from the Hall, the heart of the building. In the west wing, you will learn about the information of the UAE and its system and governance. You can also access the important chamber “The Spirit of Collaboration” that hosts state-of governments during the official summits. This holds high levels of talks and historic meetings. In the evening, you can enjoy the magnificent light and sound show or “Palace in Motion”. This show draws a link between the aspirations of Qasr Al Watan, and the vision of the nation, reflecting the country’s journey of the past, present and future.
Qasr Al Watan is more than just a palace. It is a unique testament to the spirit of the United Arab Emirate’s people and its leaders. The Palace invites the world to share Arab culture, knowledge and inspiring journey. An enriching interactive journey in a contemporary setting that reveals and reflects on governance, knowledge and craftsmanship.
How to Visit?
- An entrance fee to the palace and the garden costs 60 Aed ($16.33) for adults and 30 Aed ($8.17) for juniors aged between 4-7 years old.
- Access to a garden only costs 25 Aed ($6.81) for adult and 12 Aed ($3.27) for juniors.
- Guided tours are available in English and Arabic every half hour and would last approximately one hour.
- Private tours costs 600 Aed ($163.35) for a group of 20 guests.
- From 10:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M. Daily
- Tickets available daily at the visitors’ centre from 9:00 A.M until 7:00 P.M.
- And online from their Website