20 September 2016
Louvre Abu Dhabi Director Manuel Rabaté

Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has announced the appointment of Manuel Rabaté as Louvre Abu Dhabi Director and Hissa Al Dhaheri as Louvre Abu Dhabi Deputy Director. French national Rabaté has been the CEO of Agence France-Muséums since 2013, the entity established to support the creation of the museum which is born from an intergovernmental agreement between Abu Dhabi and France. A UAE national, Al Dhaheri assumes her role from a former post as Head of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project at TCA Abu Dhabi, the authority responsible for conserving and promoting the heritage and culture of the capital and leveraging them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction. Rabaté and Al Dhaheri have worked on Louvre Abu Dhabi for more than 8 and 6 years.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi, announced the appointment saying; "Louvre Abu Dhabi represents a vital component of the Abu Dhabi Plan to form a wider vision that prioritises culture in the capital. Louvre Abu Dhabi is an essential vehicle for encouraging cultural dialogue and exchange on an international stage. The appointment of Manuel Rabaté as the Director and Hissa Al Dhaheri as the Deputy Director celebrates the spirit of the museum. Their combined alliance and strong track record leading the team here in Abu Dhabi will be indispensable as we embark on the next pivotal stage of Louvre Abu Dhabi."

On the occasion of this appointment, Audrey Azoulay, French Minister of Culture and Communication, said: "The appointment of Manuel Rabaté and Hissa Al Dhaheri is a new and important milestone for the future Louvre Abu Dhabi museum. It reflects the excellent cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates that is dedicated to culture in its universality. Together, these two recognized professionals will apply their experience to implement this ambitious project, in which they have been involved since the beginning."

Awarded as Knight of the National Order of Merit, Rabaté started working with several recognised figures of the French cultural world and spent his entire career in some of the most prestigious French museums. He graduated from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the HEC business school. He first joined Musée du Louvre as Deputy Director of the auditorium where he participated in the creation of new programmes accompanying the creation of the Islamic Arts department. He then joined Musée du quai Branly for its opening as Deputy Director of cultural development. He managed the launch of the museum's first traveling exhibitions, including Masques - Beauté des Esprits at the Bahrain National Museum. He has chaired several years the think tank Culture & Management and taught Arts and Cultural Management at Paris-Dauphine University in France and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.  A strong supporter of Louvre Abu Dhabi since the earliest stage, he has been part of the project from its conceptual phase until its operational implementation coordinating at Agence France-Muséums, the expertise of all the French museums partners of Louvre Abu Dhabi and setting up the team in Abu Dhabi.

Al Dhaheri holds a BA in International Studies from Zayed University and an MA in Gulf Studies from Exeter University, UK. Prior to joining the Louvre Abu Dhabi team, she lectured global studies courses at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi. Her journey at Louvre Abu Dhabi began working on developing the human capital for the Saadiyat Cultural District Museums, introducing the Museum Scholarship Programme for Emiratis. Today, she is managing the relationship with the French partners to oversee and implement the multifaceted museum. She has continuously represented the project and participated at international conferences, including the Thinkers and Doers Conference at the Arab World Institute in Paris and the New York Times Art for Tomorrow Conference in Doha.

Construction of Louvre Abu Dhabi is nearing its final stages. The building will then enter an important preparation phase, essential for a museum of this magnitude, that includes testing, art installation and development of the visitor experience ahead of the official opening. Louvre Abu Dhabi will welcome visitors in 2017 and its opening date is expected to be announced soon.


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Louvre Abu Dhabi will be a universal museum on Saadiyat Island that translates the exchange of cultures through art works from ancient to contemporary times. Designed by architect Jean Nouvel, the museum represents an Arab madina (city) with its 23 permanent galleries, temporary exhibition space, Children's Museum, auditorium, restaurants, retail and a research centre. Visitors will be able to walk the promenades beneath the museum's iconic dome and overlooking the sea, experiencing the museum's enchanting 'rain of light' inspired by the shadows of overlapping palm trees in the UAE's precious oases where travellers once crossed paths.

Art works displayed originate from civilisations all over the world highlighting universal themes and similar influences (rather than segregated by civilisations like in most Western museums) such as the portrayal of power by rulers, representing the divine, exploring unknown lands and the dawn of globalisation. Louvre Abu Dhabi has acquired more than 600 objects to date including series and collections, some of which will be exhibited with 300 loaned works from 13 leading French institutions.

Born of an intergovernmental agreement between the Government of Abu Dhabi and France in 2007, the name of Louvre is loaned for a period of 30 years, art works from French institutions for 10 years on a decreasing basis as the permanent collection grows and the programming of temporary exhibitions for 15 years. The construction of Louvre Abu Dhabi building is in its final stages. The building will then enter an important preparation phase, essential for a museum of this magnitude that includes testing, art installation and development of the visitor experience ahead of the official opening. Louvre Abu Dhabi will welcome visitors in 2017 and its opening date will be announced soon.

Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, is devoted to culture and the arts. An ambitious cultural undertaking of the 21st century, it will be a nucleus for global culture, attracting local, regional and international visitors with unique exhibitions, permanent collections, productions and performances. Its iconic buildings will form a historical statement on the finest 21st century architecture;Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. These museums will complement and collaborate with local and regional arts and cultural institutions including Universities and Research Centres.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The Authority drives the Emirate's tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TCA Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate's heritage. A key role is to create synergy in the destination's development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

Agence France-Muséums (AFM) is an organisation that was established for the realisation of Louvre Abu Dhabi and in partnership with main French cultural institutions and museums. AFM has been entrusted with the task of carrying through the commitments of France to the project of the universal museum of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and structuring the expertise of the French cultural institutions involved. It provides consultancy services to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates including definition of the scientific and cultural programme, assistance to the project management for architecture including museograpy, signage and multimedia projects; coordination of the loans from French collections and organisation of temporary exhibitions; the creation of a permanent collection and the museum's policy on visitors.

The Louvre in Paris opened in 1793, after the French Revolution, and from the very beginning was intended to provide inspiration for contemporary art. Courbet, Picasso, Dali and so many others came to its hallowed halls to admire the old masters, copy them, immerse themselves in masterpieces and improve and fuel their own art. As an ancient royal residence, the Louvre is inextricably linked to eight centuries of French history. Designed in 1793 as a universal museum, its collections, among the best in the world, span many millennia and miles, from the Americas to Asia. Over 35,000 artworks are grouped into eight curatorial departments, including universally-admired works such as The Mona Lisa, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo. With over 8.3 million visitors, the Louvre ranked as the world's most visited museum in 2015.

© Press Release 2016