New Louvre Abu Dhabi show to explore ancient history of Arabian Peninsula

The exhibition was conceived through cooperation between Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the Musee du Louvre in Paris, where it was first exhibited in 2010

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Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia will open at Louvre Abu Dhabi next month, and will showcase items that span the Arabian Peninsula's early prehistoric settlements, maritime exploration, and the caravan trading routes that linked the region with Asia, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean.

Some objects will also showcase the routes of holy pilgrimage that emerged in the 7th century CE, and the social economic changes of the 14th and 16th centuries. The exhibition has already toured the world, and has been seen by more than five million people, but new to the Louvre Abu Dhabi show will be important archaeological pieces from the UAE, including a pearl found in Umm Al Quwain that dates back to around 5500 BCE, and a statue of an eagle standing on a bull’s head from 100 CE. The artefacts from Saudi Arabia include a funerary Neolithic slab and a door of the Kaaba dating to 1355. “The United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have always been connected by a common heritage and history,” says Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “This year’s edition of the exhibition will be a reflection of the rich, shared cultural heritage and deep-rooted history between the two nations.”


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Alongside the exhibition opening, Louvre Abu Dhabi will organise a three-day celebration featuring a performance called On the Roads of Arabia – a creation from music, dances and poetry by 80 artists from the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, India, Indonesia and China with a contemporary, calligraphic street art drawing designed by Tunisian artist Koom. The cultural programme accompanying Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia will also feature film screenings selected by Hind Mezaina, curatorial talks, as well as a range of education workshops and guided tours related to the exhibition.

The exhibition will open on November 8 and run until February 16, 2019 – entrance will be included in the general museum ticket.

For more information on the exhibition or ticket bookings visit or call Louvre Abu Dhabi at +971 600 56 55 66