Louvre Abu Dhabi Opening: The Full Programme of Events

louvre abu dhabi announces opening the luxe diary

From Saturday 11 through Tuesday 14 November 2017, Louvre Abu Dhabi will welcome the world with four days of celebrations to mark the historic opening. The museum’s galleries will open to the public alongside an exciting programme of multicultural music, arts and dance performances, workshops and an extraordinary light show.

Tickets are now available online for headline acts including French singer and rock guitarist Matthieu Chedid, known as –M–; mesmerising Malian performer Fatoumata Diawara; Lebanese jazz and world musician Ibrahim Maalouf; and the magnificent singer and dancer Totó La Momposina, whose performances are inspired by Colombian Caribbean traditions.



Saturday 11 November: –M–

French superstar –M– (born Matthieu Chedid) has been thrilling audiences in his native France and beyond for years, having been awarded a remarkable eight French Grammys over the course of his career.  The singer and rock guitarist’s shows are legendary, and this will be a night not to be missed.


Sunday 12 November: Fatoumata Diawara

Seasoned performer Fatoumata Diawara is a multi-talented singer, musician, dancer and actress. Her musical career has seen her taking part in projects led by such names as Herbie Hancock and Damon Albarn, all the while developing her own unique music- composing, arranging, playing and recording her own material. The self-taught guitarist’s music is a very modern and personal take on the Wassoulou traditions of her native Mali mixed with a wide variety of influence such as jazz, funk, and pop.


Monday 13 November: Ibrahim Maalouf

Born in Beirut in 1980, Ibrahim Maalouf has since become one of France’s most popular instrumentalists. Studying both traditional Arabic and western classical music with his father Nassim Maalouf, at age 17 he entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, winning numerous major international classical trumpet competitions by the age of 22. He has received an impressive number of awards, including four Victoires de la Musique (French Grammy Awards), a César (the French Academy Awards), and a Prix Lumières (French Golden Globe). Maalouf will perform his jazz translation of Oum Kalthoum’s ‘Alf Leila wa Leila’ (The Thousand and One Nights).


Tuesday 14 November: Totó La Momposina

Drawing on the music and dance of the Colombian Caribbean, Totó La Momposina’s work is inspired by a rich cultural mix that combines elements from African, Native Indian and Spanish traditions. A magnificent singer and dancer, she is admired across the world for the power and spontaneity of her performance. Throughout her long career she has received many awards, notably the WOMEX Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and in 2016 she was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

For tickets, please visit www.louvreabudhabi.ae.  

Full programme

Besides the headliners, numerous other music, dance, performances and an Etihad A380 fly-past will take place throughout the celebrations. Entry to performances before 9pm each day is included in the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum ticket.

For music lovers, opening week offers a number of exciting performances. Franco-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyên Lê will partner with Korea’s Baraji Ensemble, for a unique fusion of his multi-cultural rock, jazz, African and Asian styles with Baraji’s traditional Korean music. The French-Indian duo formed by Drfloy (aka Floy Krouchi) and Sumathi will perform ‘A Stream of Love’, combining a contemporary mix of bass and electronic abstract sounds with the richness of classical Indian vocals and raga. Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is an internationally renowned master of the bansuri (Indian bamboo flute), with a style respectful of tradition yet full of innovation. The self-taught Emirati composer and musician Faisal Al Saari will also surprise visitors with his melodic tunes within the galleries.

For those fascinated by cultural traditions, the Dogon Masks Dance, a ritual native to the ancient Dogon people of central Mali, will be performed by Mali’s Awa Troupe of Sangha. The Troupe of the Zhejiang Wu Opera Research Center will perform the Parade of Lions and Dragon, a festive processional dance popular within China and across the world, and meant to bring happiness, prosperity, and good fortune. To enthrall local audiences and visitors alike, there will be a performance of Al Ayyala, the UAE’s historic cultural dance performed throughout the country at national events, weddings and other festive occasions. Since 2014 Al Ayyala dance has been included on Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and will be performed at Louvre Abu Dhabi by the Mubarak Al Otaiba Group.


Dance enthusiasts can look forward to a presentation of ‘Almasty’, a dance choreographed by famed dancer and choreographer Myriam Gourfink. A leading figure in choreographic research in France, Gourfink has been the guest of numerous international festivals. There will also be performances by Lemi Ponifasio, a Samoan New Zealand choreographer, dancer, stage director, designer and artist who performs and exhibits his work worldwide. 


Surprise performances of dance will be performed in the galleries choreographed by Lucinda Childs, one of the great modern choreographers of the modern age, whose undiluted focus on the clarity of the moving body has made her a towering figure in contemporary dance.


A stunning extravaganza of music, light, video and theatre will launch Louvre Abu Dhabi in dramatic style on the evening of 11 November. Presented as part of the Emirati-French Cultural Programme, the Museum Reflections – Vives Réflexions – lightshow courtesy of French pyrotechnic wizards, Groupe F, is inspired by and celebrates the collection and architecture of Louvre Abu Dhabi through a curated and choreographed audio-visual performance. Visitors can also experience a presentation of Music TV, a music video montage of found TV footage by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina, whose work delves into themes of collective memory, the notion of heritage, and the representation of the UAE in the media.




During the opening weeks there will be a series of workshops available for the public to introduce Louvre Abu Dhabi and its collection and learn together in an engaging and interactive way.


Geometric Patterns sees participants identify different shapes in the artwork exhibited in the Children’s Museum, before designing their own unique geometric patterns. In Put on your Mask! participants investigate two masks in the Louvre Abu Dhabi collection to discover what inspired their design, before using this knowledge to create their own masks. My Museum Travel Journal hones observational skills as participants journey through the galleries, recording and sketching their favourite objects from the collection.


Free registration for workshops will take place on site at the ticketing desk.


Guided Tours for Adults and Families


During the opening week, free guided tours around the galleries with mediators will be available to give visitors a flavour of what is on offer every week. 


Masterpieces of the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Explore Louvre Abu Dhabi’s greatest masterpieces with your guide.


My First Visit to Louvre Abu Dhabi

Specially proposed for families with children, the guide will introduce you to art works from the collection, highlight key elements of the architecture and discuss the different museum professions. 



Discover the architecture and natural elements that inspired Jean Nouvel’s modern interpretation of the traditional dome and structure of Louvre Abu Dhabi. 


Calendar of Opening Week Events

Saturday 11 November
10 am – 10 pm


Museum open to the public


10 am – 11 am


Al Ayyala


11 am – 5 pm


Dance Action


3 pm – 3.30 pm


Dogon Masks Dance


4 pm Etihad A380 fly-past


4 pm – 5 pm


Parade of Lions and Dragon


5 pm – 7 pm


Faisal Al Saari


6 pm -7 pm


Baraji Ensemble & Nguyên Lê


7:30 pm – 7:50 pm


Groupe F: Museum Reflections / Vives Réflexions


9 pm – 10.20 pm


Headline Act:  – M –


Sunday 12 November
10 am – 10 pm


Museum open to the public


6 pm – 7 pm


Parade of Lions and Dragon


7 pm – 8 pm


Hind Mezaina: Music TV


9 pm – 10.15 pm


Headline Act: Fatoumata Diawara


Monday 13 November
10 am – 10 pm


Museum open to the public


6 pm – 7 pm


Myriam Gourfink – Almasty 


6 pm – 6.45 pm


Lemi Ponifasio – VA/nimonimo


7:30 pm – 8.30 pm


Drfloy & Sumathi – A Stream of Love


9 pm – 10 pm


Headline Act: Ibrahim Maalouf


Tuesday 14 November
10 am – 10 pm


Museum open to the public


6 pm – 7 pm


Lemi Ponifasio – Le Eleele


7:30 pm – 9 pm


Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia – Indian ragas


9 pm – 10:10 pm


Headline Act: Totó La Momposina



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