French President Emmanuel Macron, second left, with his wife, Brigitte, are received by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, left, and Dubai's ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the official opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo)
The artwork on display offers a brief history of the world and its major religions.
Museum officials say it also serves as a cultural bridge between the East and West. However, the conservative mores of Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital that's more buttoned-up than freewheeling Dubai, can be seen in the relative absence of pieces depicting nudity.
The modernist museum sits under a honeycombed dome of eight layers of Arab-style geometric shapes.
It draws the lapping waters of the Arabian Gulf into its outer corridors, allowing individual beams of light that pass through the roof to strike the surface and cast dancing reflections across the white walls. At night, light inside pours out like tiny stars from a salt shaker against the city's skyline.
Abu Dhabi officials have not disclosed how much it cost to build the museum.
What is known is that Abu Dhabi agreed to pay France $525 million for the use of the "Louvre" name for the next 30 years and six months, plus another $750 million to hire French managers to oversee the 300 loaned works of art. A center at Paris' Louvre now bears the name of the late UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which was also part of the deal.