Arts & Culture
Louvre Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi’s answer to one of the world’s most famous and historic museum-galleries might not have the history of its Parisian sister but is unquestionably one of the most beautiful museums in the world. Beneath a huge silver dome that weighs as much as the Eiffel Tower and perforated with nearly 8000 stars, the ‘rain of light’ that falls into the museum is a masterpiece in itself. Designed by celebrated architectural master, Jean Nouvel, the museum is the pride of the nation. And, of course, the collections are equally impressive. Exhibitions of exceptional rarity with historic works of art and cultural important pieces from around the world representing the museum’s universal theme, from ancient Egyptian to cutting-edge installations by Ai WeiWei.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - The Grand Mosque is the pinnacle of Islamic architecture in the UAE and arguably the world. Uniquely (in Abu Dhabi) this is open to non-Muslims and is a must on your visit list. Visiting it feels as much like you’re visiting a museum as it does one of the largest centers of worship in the world. 1,000 pillars, 80 domes and four 100m+ minarets create the sense of wonderment and put the grand firmly in the name. But it’s the other details that make it unmissable and unique, like the floral inlays of agate, amethyst and pearl, the 40kg of 24k gold adorning the chandeliers along with the thousands of Swarovski crystals, the 90,000 tonnes of paper-white marble, and the world’s largest hand-made carpet. Covering up in appropriate attire is expected (and provided for those who forget) as is respectful behavior.
Corniche - The much-loved promenade sits in front of the skyscraping cityscape and is perfect for a gentle walk (if the sun isn’t too high) or a cycle ride. It is important to cover up while walking on the Corniche, as much as it is to respect local culture as it is to protect from too much sun exposure. The sea breeze and cooler evenings make the Corniche a magnet for locals who head to the beaches or the parks.