Louvre Abu Dhabi celebrates 1m visitors in first year

UAE residents have rapidly adopted the museum and made it a favorite destination to gather with family and friends. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 12 November 2018
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Louvre Abu Dhabi celebrates 1m visitors in first year

The Louvre Abu Dhabi announced on Saturday that it welcomed more than 1 million visitors in its first year, establishing itself as one of the leading cultural institutions on the global stage. 

Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said: “One year ago we spoke about the Louvre Abu Dhabi as Abu Dhabi’s gift to the world — and today we are proud to have shared it with more than 1 million visitors already ... Our greatest success, 10 years in the making, is the next generation of Emirati museum professionals who are trained to the highest standard in the cultural sector and are leaders in their field.”

“The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s vision is to celebrate cross-cultural connections that transcend geographies and civilizations, to see humanity in a new light,” he added.

UAE residents have rapidly adopted the museum and made it a favorite destination to gather with family and friends. They represent 40 percent of the museum’s total number of visitors. Emirati nationals are in the top two nationalities of residents who visited the museum and is the top nationality of repeat visitors. The museum has 5,000 members to its loyalty program (Art Club).

The Louvre Abu Dhabi has also become a global magnet for international visitors who account for 60 percent of visits. The museum is driving tourism to the emirate and visitors come from all parts of the globe, including the Middle East, Europe and Asia, with France, Germany, China, UK, the US, India and GCC being the top visitors. Overall, India is the top nationality of visitors, including Indian tourists and UAE residents.

The museum has hosted more than 1,000 school trips, 5,000 guided tours, workshops and masterclasses, and programed 115 special events from Bait Al-Oud performances to talks, film screenings and concerts with more than 400 artists from 22 countries including a major show by British pop star Dua Lipa to celebrate its one-year anniversary on Sunday. 

Forty-seven percent of the museum’s staff members are Emirati and a group of talented up-and-coming Emirati curators are working on the collection and in the permanent galleries, as well as in the education and mediation teams.

Manuel Rabaté, director of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “Before the opening, we were often asked if there was an appetite for museums in Abu Dhabi and the amazing response we’ve had in our first year is proving that there is. We look forward to welcoming many more visitors in the exciting years to come.”

Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of Musée du Louvre and president of the Scientific Council of Agence France-Muséums, said: “One year ago, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which some described as the most beautiful museum in the world, opened. Today, I pay tribute to an undeniable success: The museum appeals to and charms audiences.”


Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Updated 12 December 2018
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Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Careem held the first edition of its Captain’s Excellence Award Ceremony in Riyadh on Saturday. The event, which will be held annually, was the first-of-its-kind in the region and welcomed over 300 top-performing “captains” (Careem drivers) across the Kingdom. 

The captains were awarded based on different criteria such as: Captains with the highest number of trips, highest (customer-given) ratings and longest serving captains. Rewards were also handed out to captain ambassadors, i.e. those with the highest number of referrals and captains that were given a special shoutout on social media by customers for their dedication to their service. Several rewards were handed out along with the grand prize, a brand new car. 

Abdulla Elyas, chief people officer and co-founder of Careem, opened the event with an ode to the captains in attendance, thanking them for their service and commitment in driving impact through meaningful initiatives across the Kingdom. Some of these initiatives included the vaccination campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which helped more than 100,000 men, women and children across 17 cities get vaccinated in their own homes. Careem also collaborated with Bupa Arabia during Ramadan this year to donate clothes from customers to people in need, where over 180,000 donations were collected. 

Elyas also announced Careem’s partnership with Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP) in delivering the first installment of cars for the empowerment of people with special needs. The foundation, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will provide a number of cars over the course of seven years to men and women of the Society for Physically Disabled Adults (Harakia) after being trained.

“Our captains are the lifeblood of our business and we wanted to celebrate these men and women for helping us achieve our mission of simplifying and improving the lives of people in the Kingdom,” Elyas said. 

“We are proud to have 395,000 ‘captainahs’ (female drivers) and captains registered with us to date in Saudi Arabia, providing over 122 million rides. This ceremony is our small way to thank them for their service and reward them for the hard work they put in every day so that people have a safe way to get around. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today” 

Muaaed Al-Saeed, a representative from the Public Transport Authority (PTA), said: “We are excited to have you all; you have overcome each obstacle you were faced with in a short span of time and for that we are extremely proud.” 

He added: “On this occasion, I convey the regards of PTA President Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih. The participation of myself and Majed Al-Zahrani, PTA general manager, is proof of our support to all the captains.”