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Friday 31 January 2020

UAE 2020 Day 11: Lunch, Dinner and Everything In Between

By the time we were done at the Louvre Abu Dhabi we were absolutely famished. With it being our penultimate day, we felt it only right that we have lunch at our one and only comfort food place, Mamak Abu Dhabi.

our last time here

well, for this trip anyway

what to eat, what to eat

the proprietor said goodbye

We chatted with the proprietor for a bit and told him we were going back to Kuala Lumpur the next day. He bade us farewell and hoped to see us again soon.

some had fried chicken AND fish curry

Ginny's nasi lemak

my nasi lemak 

side order of prawn sambal

time to dig in

Cat's squid curry

We then wolfed down our Malaysian lunch with gusto, our heads still swirling with the artefacts, sculptures, paintings and works of art we saw earlier at the Louvre.

We headed back to Al Reef and rested for a couple of hours. My knee underwent several applications of dōTERRA's Deep Blue Rub and felt much better. Sern also gave me a knee brace to wear which helped a lot too.

We went out again in the evening when it was much cooler and made our way to Yas Mall in search of Nescafe. Yes, you got that right. We went all the way to Yas Mall for Nescafe. This Nescafe, to be precise:

a different taste altogether

quite unlike its Malaysian brethren

Four years ago, when we went dune bashing and spent an evening at a desert safari, I had a cup of Nescafe at the buffer bar. The taste of this Nescafe was quite unlike what I had before, and nothing like what I usually have in Malaysia. That time though, we forgot to buy a bottle before leaving. This time around we did not forget.

We then went browsing and ended by window shopping at a retail store called Centrepoint. Here we found shoes and sneakers on sale at half the regular price. I saw a pair I fancied and after some deliberation I bought it:

to this day, my favourite sneakers

We went back home to Al Reef, Ginny and Sern ordered take-outs. To satisfy Brendan’s taste buds we had burgers all round for dinner. After some last minute packing and re-packing, organising and re-organising our large cargo bags we dozed off.

We would be flying back to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

UAE 2020 Day 11: Louvre Abu Dhabi!!

This is it! The hour is upon us, for we have arrived at the Louvre, Abu Dhabi. First thing that happened when we got to the parking lot and out of Timah was that the museum personnel noticed my limp and arranged for an electric cart to chauffeur Cat, Brendan and I to the main entrance.  That saved me the long walk from the parking lot, as well as provided me with an opportunity to snap some photos of the Zayed Port from the perspective of the Louvre.

as we arrived at the parking lot

an eagle-eyed personnel spotted my limp

and arranged for an electric cart

to take us on a little tour of the perimeter

enabling me to capture these fabulous photos

of Port Zayed from across the straits

also known as Mina Zayed

Brendan and Cat enjoyed the ride too

approaching the Louvre from its sidewalk by the bay

first glimpse of the fabled dome

and catching sight of a traditional fishing boat

exhilarating would be an understatement

At the entrance we were greeted by several Emirati gentlemen offering free servings of locally brewed coffee. We politely declined as we were eager to get inside as soon as we could.

hello Habibi

we politely declined

one last look outside before we stepped in

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is essentially an art and civilization museum, located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. We visited the Louvre during the 2019/2020 season where the collection was entitled 'Changing Societies'. At the time of our visit there were quite a few international tourists from (what we can tell) all corners of the globe. We even overheard a French gentleman remark that he preferred this to the one in France, imagine that! One possible reason for this is that the Louvre Abu Dhabi hosts far less items so it is possible to experience all that it has to offer in one day.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi's motto is 'see humanity in a new light' and to reach this lofty goal it presents its visitors with a truly universal perspective on art and culture.

here we go!

the "Bohemian" printed on the tickets

first few pieces we saw

why so sullen?

a proper site map

Our museum galleries tell a chronological history of human creativity that explores the shared ideas and issues that have defined our common humanity from pre-history to the present.

Two-Headed Monumental Statue

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Ramesses II, Pharaoh of Egypt

worth a 2nd shot

Sphinx, Mythological Creature

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Portrait of a Queen (Ptolemaic Dynasty)


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the end of one hallway

Featuring a global selection of around 600 masterpieces drawn from our growing permanent collection, our displays are also regularly updated with a rolling roster world-class loans from our international partners, which means that there is always something new for visitors to discover.

leads to another gallery

Reliquary Cross (fragment of True Cross)

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Seated Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion

Buddha Head (Gupta empire)

Buddha Head (Eastern Wei or Northern Qi)

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Sculpted Basin with The Name of Bonifilius

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Monumental "Mari-cha" lion, Spain

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this reminded me of Cat

Ginny said the lady in the painting reminded her of Cat

Altar sculpture of a Rooster (Edo culture)

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Laocoon and his Sons

while this reminded me of a lazy Cat

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Fight between Cruegas & Damoxenos

Fight between Cruegas & Damoxenos

Napoleon Bonaparte, Crossing the Alps

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Abyssinian Chieftan

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Bacchus in the Vat

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Grosse Geist Nr.7 (Large Spirit No.7)

Orange press "a+b"

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We reached the end of the galleries and found ourselves outside, and right underneath the fabled dome. The intricate geometric dome is both reminiscent of traditional Arabic architecture screens and crucial in achieving Architect’s Jean Nouvel’s vision for a “rain of light.”

Inspired by the cupola, a distinctive feature in Arabic architecture, Nouvel’s dome is a complex, geometric structure with a breath-taking diameter of 180 meters (590ft) made up of 7,850 aluminium stars and weighs over 7,000 tonnes. These stars are repeated at various sizes and angles in eight different layers.

More photos were to be had under the shade of the 'cupola' before we finally made our way out of the Louvre and back to Timah.

Walking Man. On a Column

we've reached the Plaza

in the shade of the 'cupola'

time for a selfie or two

we expect super yachts of the sheiks dropping by for a visit..

or crowded tourist boats on a day trip

The cupola rests on a mere four pillars

creating a surreal floating effect

resembling shadows created by palm trees in an oasis

every angle and line seems well placed & well weighted

yet so asymmetrical, almost random

its time to head out

bidding a fond farewell

Grand as the Louvre is, the entry fee is actually quite high by our standards, but we feel the price is more than justified simply for the enthralling and uplifting experience it gave us. The Louvre Abu Dhabi ticket prices are:

  • Adults – 60 AED
  • Children between 13 & 23 years – 30 AED
  • Children & disabled visitors under 13 – free

If we ever manage to visit the UAE again the Louvre Abu Dhabi will definitely be right up there on our list of destinations. My limp did put a damper on the experience this time around, so a right and proper visit will be on the cards next time!

We are no art connoisseurs, and neither do we pretend to be, but the chance to visit the Louvre and look at all the items on display must rank up there in our life's experiences, an experience provided by the mad-hatter tour guides, Ginny and Sern. So again, we say, "Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy." And so again we are grateful to thee!