A number of museums and cultural sites in the UAE capital – including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Cultural Foundation and Qasr Al Hosn – will reopen to the public on Wednesday, June 24, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has announced.
Cultural Foundation's exhibitions and Artists in Residence studios will be open, but its theatre will remain closed.
In Al Ain, sites that will reopen are Al Ain Oasis's outdoor areas, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Al Jahili Fort and Al Ain Palace Museum.
These attractions have been closed since March in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"Announcing the reopening of our cultural sites is a significant step in helping residents and visitors to Abu Dhabi to accelerate a return to 'normal' life in the emirate," said Saood Al Hosani, acting undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi.
“Our cultural sites will help to heal and alleviate any accumulated stress that might have built up over the past ‘lockdown’ period, as we believe that art and culture have the power to help people come together and heal.”
Safety measures and guidelines
Visitors are required to book entry tickets in advance for Qasr Al Hosn and Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The museum will operate from 10am to 6.30pm daily, except Mondays. And other cultural sites will be open from 10am to 7pm between Saturdays and Thursdays, and from 2pm to 7pm on Fridays.
The advance booking measure is to monitor numbers, as each site will only operate at 40 per cent visitor capacity, with a maximum time limit of three hours for every visitor.
As with other places in the UAE, sterilisation machines and temperature detectors have been installed at each entrance.
Masks and gloves are mandatory for staff and visitors.
There will be no tours, but digital guides will be available to download on smartphones. Touch screens have been removed from all facilities.
What to see and do
The exhibition Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West will be on view at the Louvre from Wednesday, July 1, until Sunday, October 18. The display explores the knightly traditions of the Islamic and Christian worlds
On view are more than 130 artefacts, from weaponry and armour to manuscripts and decorative objects. This includes swords, crossbows, turban helmets and medallions, as well as items of artistry such as ceramic bowls, reliefs and tapestries. Divided into three sections, the exhibition examines the emergence of horse riding, warfare and the lives of knights in both cultures.
The Cultural Foundation is hosting three exhibitions, including The Red Palace, which highlights the material culture of Saudi Arabia through the works of Sultan Bin Fahad and Common Ground, a group exhibition with 13 artists that explores links between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Abu Dhabi Children’s Library exhibition, Step into a Story, explores the role of pop-up and moveable books in literacy development.
What have the cultural sites been doing over the past few months?
During the closures, cultural institutions turned to the virtual world to continue connecting with audiences. Cultural Foundation has been streaming musical performances online, including one by Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi, who took part in the One World: Together at Home concert.
Louvre Abu Dhabi recently shared on its website a sci-fi cinematic podcast We Are Not Alone, featuring celebrities such as Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The museum has also shared educational resources for children to view and download.