There are few things in Abu Dhabi that get us as excited as a new exhibition at the Louvre.
And the latest offering at the world-renowned Saadiyat Island culture hub sounds like an unmissable display.
Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia explores the rich history of Saudi Arabia and the UAE through archaeological and cultural artefacts.
Brains as well as beauty, you could say.
The showcase, in partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), opens on November 8 and will be sticking around until February 19.
H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said: “The United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have always been connected by a common heritage and history.
“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.”
The display looks at five chapters in the history of the Arabian Peninsula, including early prehistoric settlements, maritime exploration, routes of holy pilgrimage emerging in the 7th century CE and the social and economic developments between the 14th and 16th centuries 7th CE.
It was first created between the SCTH and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where it was first exhibited in 2010 before touring the world.
When it arrives in Louvre Abu Dhabi, it will have a few carefully selected pieces from the UAE added to enhance it.
These will include a pearl found in Umm Al Quwain dating from 5500-5300 BCE (loaned by Umm Al Quwain Museum), a modern-day stone decorated with a wild camel a remarkable 1st millennium BCE pieces from Saruq al Hadid (loaned by Dubai Municipality), as well as objects from the medieval trade city of Julfar.
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “The Arabian Peninsula has been a place of exchange, culture and civilisation since earliest Antiquity, and Louvre Abu Dhabi is deeply rooted in the region’s unique history and context.
“The exhibition is an important opportunity for us to re-examine and celebrate this rich heritage through a remarkable series of artefacts, expanding on the regional pieces in our permanent collection to tell an Arabian story from a new perspective.”
The fun doesn’t stop there, though.
Louvre Abu Dhabi will also organise a three-day celebration to run alongside the exhibition.
It will feature 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.
Sounds like the perfect excuse to make another trip to enjoy Louvre Abu Dhabi again.
Dhs60 (general admission), Dhs30 (concessions). Nov 8 – Feb19. Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island (0600 56 55 66).