We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 8 Nov 2017 10:29 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Visitors will be our priority, says Louvre Abu Dhabi director

Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabate said museums are never profitable entities

Visitors will be our priority, says Louvre Abu Dhabi director
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, opening its doors today, will prioritise visitors over profit, which will come partly from ticketing revenues, according to museum director Manuel Rabaté.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, opening its doors today, will prioritise visitors over profit, according to museum director Manuel Rabaté.

The museum will charge AED60 per adult entry, but will offer free entry for children under 13 years of age.

“Before the profit, [comes] the audience. The ticketing is a way of getting revenue, but also keeping the museum attractive for the visitors," said Rabaté.

"It’s part of the business plan, ticketing is always a main source of revenue for museums, but a museum, in its environment, is true to the public, true to its content, [and] true for the economy.

"We will be part of [the Abu Dhabi economy] through our sponsorship strategy. Today, we want to have long term partnerships with corporates, [but] you will not easily rent a room at the louvre.

What's in the Louvre Abu Dhabi's billion-dollar art collection

The world has been gifted with a new museum - that alone is cause for celebration

"This is something we will give in exchange for real commitment from brands, from companies, to work with us, because we think the museum is about consistency, so we definitely prefer long term commitment," he added.

However, Rabaté assured the museum’s success will not be measured by its revenue, but by its outreach to the Abu Dhabi community and its role in attracting tourists to the capital.

“A museum, in itself, is never a profitable entity. But it is something that creates positive externalities, because it participates in the development of education and of attractiveness; it’s very important for tourism.

"You have to understand the breadth of the museums of Saadiyat Island, because you also have the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, [as opposed to taking] each one’s breakeven point separately. They are part of a dynamic, holistic investment,” he added.

Measuring success

Rabaté said the museum’s success will be measured by its outreach to the Abu Dhabi community, as well as its role in attracting tourists to the capital.

“When it comes to measuring success, I think there are two ways... The first one is to root the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the community, in the city, in the UAE. The way we analyse our success will be how many Emiratis, residents, schools [visit the museum]; the real outreach to the community.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi: first universal museum in the Arab world

French architect Jean Nouvel was inspired by the island's position 'between sand and sea, shade and light'

“The second [way], which is a big priority in terms of Abu Dhabi development, is integration in tourist flows. I think that the Louvre Abu Dhabi will benefit from Abu Dhabi and the UAE being destinations. It will capture some of this [tourist] flow. [Tourists] are already coming there. They may be in transit, they may come to the region or the UAE, but I think we will attract part of them.

"We could be one of the reasons why you come to Abu Dhabi or the UAE. So in this case, we will create the flows and then distribute them to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. [This] is closely linked to the economy of Abu Dhabi,” he said.

The museum, which is the first to hold the French name outside of France, has been in the making for over a decade. The project, a 30-year partnership between France and the UAE, is reported to be worth $1.1 billion, with nearly half a billion dollars dedicated to the rights of the Louvre brand.

Revealed: what you will find inside Louvre Abu Dhabi

How artworks and artefacts from the Gulf region will be displayed alongside the permanent collection

French President Emmanuel Macron will be among those attending today’s historic opening, along with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

“We are in a colossal, important, critical investment by Abu Dhabi in knowledge, culture and education,” Rabaté said of the opening.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest art news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.