Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi closes Louvre and other major attractions

Louvre Abu Dhabi is among 12 sites shut until the end of the month to protect the public

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 12, 2020.  
Stock Images;  The Louvre Abu Dhabi.  Shot November 19, 2019.  Visitors at the Louvre, Abu Dhabi enjoying the sights.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  NA standalone

The Louvre Abu Dhabi as well as a number of other popular tourist attractions across the country were closed on Saturday in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The closures, most of which will last until the end of March, affect more than 12 major attractions across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

In the city, Qasr Al Watan, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, and Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation all shut, in addition to all four theme parks on Yas Island: Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Yas WaterWorld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and CLYMB Abu Dhabi.

Outside of the city in Al Ain, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis and Qasr Al Muwaiji have also been closed.

In a tweet, Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said the sites would be closed "until March 31 to limit large gatherings and protect public health in response to Covid-19”.

In a statement, the Department of Culture and Tourism, said the well-being of staff and visitors was "paramount".

“We will update you once the cultural sites resume normal operations,” the authority announced.

Other cultural centres, including Bait Al Oud, Berklee Abu Dhabi, and Al Qatara Art Centre will continue operating as usual, with “restrictions according to health and safety measures,” a statement from DCT said. Separately, Al Ain Zoo said it would be closed "until further notice".

Meanwhile in Dubai, a number of exhibitions in the city's arts and culture district were also cancelled or postponed.

The Alserkal Residency Spring Cycle 2020, where select international artists are invited to exhibit their work, has been suspended, with the artists in residence leaving the UAE this week.

A4 Space, Cinema Akil, Sima Performing Arts and The Junction all announced they would close until Wednesday, April 1, while some exhibits at Concrete, a multi-purpose venue in the city, said visitors could only view work by appointment.

Earlier on Saturday, Abu Dhabi said it was stepping up its efforts to ensure the safety of the public.

In recent days, it has cancelled events and shut nightclubs and bars to prevent large gatherings. Authorities have also called on senior citizens to stay at home and avoid crowded places.

Dubai's nightclubs and bars remain open.