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5 Museums and Cultural Sites You Can Now Visit in Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi. Courtesy

Bringing an overdue sense of relief to art and culture enthusiasts across the country, June 24 marks the day cultural sites across Abu Dhabi are set to reopen their doors to the public. In an announcement by the Department of Culture and Tourism on June 15, museums and other culture hubs in Abu Dhabi will reopen while adhering to the inclusion of a number of new safety standards.

After three months of closure, following the onset of Covid-19 in the UAE, the capital’s most iconic locations will include thermal camera installation at entrances, limit visitation time to a maximum of three hours, prohibit all interactive activities, and forego any paper-based brochures and maps. If you have missed your fill of art and culture, here are five sites you can now visit.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The nation’s favorite museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, will reopen tomorrow from 10am to 6.30pm and operate at 40% capacity from Tuesday to Sunday weekly. Guests will be required to wear a mask and gloves at all times, pre-book their visit, stay no longer than 3 hours and adhere to social distancing requirements throughout the premises.

While you’re there, we recommend a visit to the ongoing ‘Furusiyya’ exhibition. Titled ‘Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West,’ the exhibition explores the ancient roots of chivalry as well as the role of a knight in combat and the different chivalric codes that developed around the world, from Iraq and Syria in the East, to France and Spain in the West.

Qasr Al Hosn

As the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Hosn was built in the 1790’s as a watchtower. With its commanding structure, the monument overlooked the coastal trade routes while also protecting the growing settlement inland. Reopening to visitors tomorrow between 10am to 7pm, tickets can be booked through the website or over the phone.

Once there, we recommend exploring the premises, and taking the time to breathe in the rich history and vibrant heritage of a building that was once home to the Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, and now presides over the city as its oldest living memorial.

Cultural Foundation

A melting pot of art, heritage, culture and history, Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation is set to reopen it’s doors to the public between 10am and 8pm Saturday to Thursday, and 12pm to 10pm on Fridays. With social distancing and safety measures in place, visitors can feel safe exploring the many wonders held within the walls of this culture hub.

We recommend visiting The Red Palace; boasting memorabilia, relics, and discarded objects from various sites, artist Sultan Bin Fahad creates sculptures and installations that explore the transformative potential of the ruin to stand in for what was lost and its reformulation within the country’s social metamorphosis.

Qasr al Muwaiji

Over 100 years old, the monumental structure of Qasr al Muwaiji was built in the early 20th century and was once the birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Having recently been restored, the building boasts an expansive museum that tells the story of the fort and its inhabitants. Focusing particularly on HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the exhibition sets out the chronology of the members of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family with a connection to Qasr al Muwaiji. While temporarily still closed to the public, the outdoor areas of the grounds will reopen tomorrow.

We recommend basking in the intricacy of a monument that reaches back hundreds of years while maintaining significance and relevance to the present day.

Al Jahili Fort

One of the largest forts in the UAE, Al Jahili Fort was built in the late 19th century by Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa the First. Operating both as a symbol of power, and as a royal summer residence, the fort boasts cylindrical towers at three of its corners while in the fourth lies the Sheikh’s majlis; where he entertained guests and conducted official business. Similarly to Qasr al Muwaiji, the premises will continue to be closed to the public, while the grounds will reopen tomorrow.

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