Abu Dhabi is a popular tourist destination with alluring attractions, experiences and five-star accommodations. According to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), the capital had a record-breaking year in 2019 welcoming 11.35 million international visitors but all that hangs in the balance now with the closing of UAE borders due to the covid-19 pandemic. But all is not lost.  Would-be travellers can still experience Abu Dhabi culture through these virtual events.

Tour the Grand Mosque

Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
© Copyright Katarina Premfors 2017

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is arguably the most iconic landmark in Abu Dhabi receiving over 6 million visitors annually. Now you can see it from anywhere in the world through a remote guided cultural tour via Instagram. Live broadcast tours will take place at 11:00 am on Tuesdays in Arabic and Saturdays in English. 

Explore an art exhibition 

Cultural events louvre Abu Dhabi

While Louvre Abu Dhabi is temporarily closed, you can still experience the museum’s most recent international exhibition through a 360 virtual tour available on the museum’s website

In this virtual tour, you can navigate throughout the entire exhibition and select 18 of the artworks on view for a closer look by clicking on a digital tag. Pieces include Louvre Abu Dhabi’s spectacular Ottoman Horse Armour from the late 15th century, installed alongside a European Horse and Knight Armour from the first quarter of the 16th century, on loan from Musée de l’armée; a cameo from 260 A.D. depicting the Fight between Emperor Valerian and King Shapur from the collections of Bibliothèque Nationale de France; and the Turban Helmet of Sultan Bajazet II from Musée de l’armée, among other works.

Attend a concert 

cultural events oud concert in Abu Dhabi

Visits from Bait Al Oud, a series of performances by Bait Al Oud musicians including oud legend Naseer Shamm will be held virtually and streamed live online every Wednesday. 

Starting on May 13th at 8:30pm, ‘The Story of the Oud’ concert will celebrate the diversity of the instruments used in classical Arabic music and will showcase the wide range of instruments taught at the Bait Al Oud school, including the oud, violin, qanoon, vocal and cello.

The series then continues with ‘Bait Al Oud and Abu Dhabi Classics: Universal Mozart’ on June 3rd at 8:30pm, as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s genius is highlighted as Shamma, Bait Al Oud musicians and selected classical musicians from Europe and Asia come together to perform his music, with a special focus on compositions inspired by the Arab World.

Arabic Classical Singing will also be showcased as part of Bait Al Oud’s Tribute to Classical Arabic Singing’ on June 17th at 8:30pm. As the centre of the Arab World’s cultural identity and musical heritage, the rich tradition will be revisited by Shamma, graduated students and distinguished teachers from Bait Al Oud Abu Dhabi, as they offer a phenomenal instrumental and vocal experience paying tribute to the greatest Arabic voices such as Umm Kulthoum, Fairuz and more.

The public will be able to watch these concerts and enjoy the best of classical music from youtube.com/AbuDhabiCulture