UAE is set to open its billion-dollar museum Louvre Abu Dhabi to the world, over 10 years since it was first announced.

The Middle East country is said to have paid France between $800 million and $1 billion. The deal includes the loan of the French Louvre Museum’s name for 30 years and six months, its temporary exhibitions for 15 years, and loans of artwork for a decade.

It opens officially on the 11th of November, and will have more than 600 pieces on display, including items from its permanent collection and others on loan from French and regional institutions.

Masterpieces like Leonardo Da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronniere and Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portrait are among the pieces expected to be on display.

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The museum will have a number of galleries, including The First Villages, The First Great Powers, Civilisations and Empires, Universal Religions, Asian Trade Routes, From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, Cosmography, The World in Perspective, The Magnificence of the Court, A New Art of Living, A Modern World?, Challenging Modernity, and A Global Stage.

The galleries are housed across 55 white buildings developed as a ‘museum city’ in the sea by award-winning French architect, Jean Nouvel, and it is all topped by a 180-metre wide dome.

“Louvre Abu Dhabi is not just a museum; it will be a hub for education, broadcasting international tolerance and world culture. And future generations will be better because of places like the Louvre Abu Dhabi,” Mohammad Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism and the Tourism Development and Investment Company, said while addressing the press.

“The UAE is proud of its rich heritage while also embracing progress and change. We are a dynamic, vibrant and multicultural society, where people live in harmony and tolerance. This diversity is reflected in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection, which celebrate the innate human fascination with discovery. Each visitor will encounter extraordinary artworks and artefacts from global cultures that are both familiar and surprising. Louvre Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s gift to the world, and we look forward to welcoming our first visitors,” he said.

See photos of the museum below.