Explore the Middle East’s cultural melting pot in style at these modern and ancient wonders of the world
1. Louvre Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi is the cultural lighthouse of the UAE, home to ancient forts, traditional villages and unique ‘falaj’ irrigation systems that have maintained life in the desert for thousands of years. The Al Ain Oasis, which became the UAE’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016, is believed to be some 4,000 years old and was once an important agricultural centre for the entire Arabian Peninsula. Today, the emirate is looking outwards, celebrating the cultural and artistic history of the entire world with its ever-growing collection of museums.
The current jewel in the cultural crown is Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island, the second outpost of France’s iconic museum. Designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum has 23 permanent galleries as well as areas dedicated to temporary exhibitions celebrating local and regional artists. Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-portrait made an appearance when the museum opened in November, as well as Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronniere.