More than one million people visited Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2023

The museum also welcomed more than 45,000 students through its educational programmes

People from all over the world visited Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2023. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Louvre Abu Dhabi welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors last year, a significant increase on the 622,399 who visited the UAE landmark in 2022.

UAE residents made up 28 per cent of the visitor footfall while the remaining 72 per cent was made up of international tourists. Those came from across the globe including countries such as Russia, India, France, the US, China, Germany, Italy and the UK.

Outdoor activities and activations at the museum contributed to 10 per cent of the total visitor count, the museum said.

“It is inspiring to witness such growth in visitation, a testament to how Louvre Abu Dhabi is showcasing Abu Dhabi's rich and diverse cultural landscape,” said Manuel Rabate, the director of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

“Our museum weaves together the power of collaboration and intercultural dialogue, offering our visitors a glimpse into diverse civilisations and artistic traditions.”

Louvre Abu Dhabi also hosted more than 500 officials and dignitaries last year. These included Heads of State, ministers and ambassadors as well as renowned and internationally significant artists and celebrities.

“Louvre Abu Dhabi was established as part of our duty to deliver exceptional cultural institutions and experiences for all residents and visitors to the emirate,” said Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

“We are proud to see the impact that this museum has had in its six years of operation, with continually increasing visitor numbers reflecting the strength of its collection, special exhibitions, and community programmes.”

Throughout 2023, Louvre Abu Dhabi opened five important exhibitions that not only had regional significance but spoke to international audiences. Each of them harnessed unique storytelling methods to convey detailed and nuanced artistic, cultural and historically significant movements.

These include Bollywood Superstars: A Short Story of Indian Cinema, which celebrated the history, growth and magic of the influential film genre; and Letters of Light, which showcased the history of holy books of the three Abrahamic faiths.

Meanwhile, Cartier: Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design, revealed the jewellery house’s history and connection to the Islamic world; while Picturing the Cosmos in the Children’s Museum was an immersive exhibition that taught children about the solar system.

The museum’s permanent collection also had some additional acquisitions and loans over the last year for the public to enjoy. Two Pablo Picasso paintings, Woman Holding a Mandoline (1911) and Portrait of a Seated Woman (1923), were included as well Rococo French painter Jean-Honore Fragonard’s work Les Marionnettes (1770).

Also included into the permanent collection were the Ancient Maltese pillars. The ornamental pillars, which were separated for 240 years, were reunited at Louvre Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s diplomatic relationship with the Republic of Malta.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s latest exhibition, entitled From Kalila wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Travelling through Fables, is a deep dive into the history of fables. Showcasing more than 130 artworks including centuries-old manuscripts and contemporary works, it traces the parallels in fables in the eastern and western hemispheres and how they came together in the 17th century.

Updated: March 31, 2024, 4:08 PM