Integrating culture into the identity of the emirate of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is back at ITB China with the aim of developing strong partnerships and marketing initiatives with leading Chinese travel professionals to further grow the emirate’s presence internationally and leverage the destination’s cruise appeal, while building awareness around the authority’s global destination campaign.
One of the key attractions for the emirate is that of culture, and visitors to ITB China will learn a great deal about the destination’s cultural attractions.
LOUVRE ABU DHABI
Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first museum of its kind in the Arab world: a universal museum that is a cultural beacon, bringing together different cultures to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity.
A floating dome of light and shade
Located on Saadiyat Island, Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel has designed a museum-city (Arab medina) under a vast silvery dome. Here you can walk through the promenades overlooking the sea beneath the museum’s 180-metre diameter dome, composed of almost 8,000 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern. When sunlight filters through, it creates a moving ‘rain of light’ beneath the dome, reminiscent of the overlapping palm trees in the UAE’s oases.
“A welcoming world serenely combining light and shadow, reflection and calm. It wishes to belong to a country, to its history, to its geography without becoming a flat translation. It also aims to emphasise the fascination generated by rare encounters, stated Nouvel.
A museum-city in the sea
Designed as a micro-city, Louvre Abu Dhabi is an archipelago out at sea. Dedicated areas entice and encourage a multitude of activities, especially contemplation. For a diverse choice of transportation, visitors can arrive by either land or sea.
Just like wandering the narrow streets of an Arabian medina, visitors can explore 55 detached buildings. Twenty-three of these buildings are devoted to galleries, which were inspired by the low-lying homes of the local region. Exterior facades overlooking both sea and the Abu Dhabi skyline encourage considered walks and conversation.
On display are the museum’s important collection of artworks, artefacts and loans from France’s top museums. These span the entirety of human existence: from prehistoric objects to commissioned contemporary artworks, highlighting universal themes and ideas and marking a departure from traditional museography that often separates objects from different civilisations.
In addition to the 23 galleries, the museum includes exhibitions, a Children’s Museum, a restaurant, a boutique gift shop and a café.
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THE QASR AL HOSN EXHIBITION
The Qasr Al Hosn exhibition offers visitors a journey through the story behind Abu Dhabi, as well as the history of the region surrounding Qasr Al Hosn, and highlights t h e restoration and conservation development project that includes Qasr Al Hosn and its surrounding area. The Qasr Al Hosn master plan was launched last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and it is expected to be completed through 2018.
Moving through the various zones of this lasting cultural icon, Qasr Al Hosn Exhibition presents a rich collection of oral testimonies, historical photographs, and other materials that highlight the history of the region, and the vital role of Qasr Al Hosn within Abu Dhabi as a beacon of heritage, culture, and Emirati tradition. The exhibition also relates the extensive history of Abu Dhabi and the story of its development through to the modern era.
The newly renovated cultural destination underpins the everlasting vision of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, and his invaluable initiatives to integrate culture into the identity of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. His vision inspired the concept behind the new design of the exhibition as an active hub for education, culture, and entertainment, as well as a window through time that presents both a rich history and a bright future.
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