teamLab, Pillars that Dance with the Wind © teamLab. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi, 2023.jpg

Manar Abu Dhabi: Lighting the City This Winter in Public Art Exhibition

by Abu Dhabi Travel Planner Team

Get ready for an exciting new art installation set to hit the waters surrounding the city of Abu Dhabi over winter 2023/24. We share all the Manar Abu Dhabi locations with you here.

This citywide exhibition, curated by Reem Fadda and Alia Zaal Lootah, is a significant component of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative. It aims to enhance the urban landscape of Abu Dhabi through public art.

What is Manar Abu Dhabi about?

Manar Abu Dhabi showcases over 20 local, regional, and international artists, including Ayman Zedani, Carsten Höller, Jim Denevan, Latifa Saeed, Luciana Abait, Mohammed Kazem, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Nujoom Al Ghanem, Rain Wu, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Samia Halaby, Shezad Dawood, teamLab, and others.

The artworks are installed across various locations in the city, including Corniche Road and Beach, the Eastern Mangroves, Fahid Island, Jubail Mangrove Park, Lulu Island, Saadiyat Island, and Al Samaliyah Island.

The inaugural edition of Manar Abu Dhabi is centred around the theme “Grounding Light,” which reflects on the concept of grounding, self-enlightenment, and the idea that light mirrors our inner selves, body, mind, nature, and spirit. The exhibition features a diverse range of artworks:

  • Jim Denevan’s “Self Similar” on Fahid Island: A monumental land art piece illuminated by 432 solar lanterns (you may have observed the giant pyramid looking structures off the E10 highway between Yas and Saadiyat Islands)
  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s “Translation Island” on Lulu Island: An interactive journey through large-scale audiovisual multimedia artworks.
  • Carsten Höller’s “Abu Dhabi Dots” on Corniche Beach: An interactive light game sure to be a hit with kids.
  • Shilpa Gupta’s artwork presented in Arabic, English, and Urdu, reflecting on human potential for change.
  • Jumairy’s “Luciferin Shores” on Lulu Island: Celebrating the ethereal beauty of bioluminescent beaches.
  • Luciana Abait’s “Agua”: An immersive experience symbolizing spiritual cleansing.
  • Shezad Dawood’s “Coral Alchemy (Acropora Grove)”: Promoting environmental awareness.
  • Nujoom Al Ghanem’s celebration of Abu Dhabi’s seafaring heritage on Lulu Island.
  • Ahmed Al Areef’s video projection on the Abu Dhabi Chamber Building, showcasing the city’s evolving landscape.
  • Groupe F’s drone and light painting shows on Saadiyat Island.

Additionally, the exhibition includes a series of public talks, workshops, and performances.

A second series of artworks will be unveiled on Al Samaliyah Island on December 20, 2023. This series includes teamLab’s immersive digital artworks, Ayman Zedani’s “Terrapolis,” and other works that explore the interaction between humans, nature, and technology.

Manar Samia Halaby Yafa – Lance Gerber

Manar Abu Dhabi Artwork Locations

Launched on 18 November, the following can be found across the city until 30 January 2024.

Ahmad AlAreef (b. 1988) (UAE)Memories of a Harbor (2023)Corniche, Abu Dhabi Chamber Building (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Ayesha Hadhir (b. 1994), Rawdha Al Ketbi (b. 1997), Shaikha Alketbi (b. 1995) (UAE)Dawaran (2023) Eastern Mangroves (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Alaa Edris (b. 1986) (UAE)Rise (2023)Saadiyat Island (TBC)
Asma Belhamar (b. 1988) (UAE)Chasing the Dance of Alfay (2023)Corniche, Abu Dhabi Viewpoint, Al Kasir (5:30pm – 6:00am)
Ayman Zedani (b. 1984) (Saudi Arabia)Terrapolis (2020)Al Samaliyah Island (TBC after 20 Dec)
Carsten Höller (b. 1961) (Germany)Abu Dhabi Dots (2023)Corniche Beach (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Groupe F (est. 1990) (France)Persistence of Form (2023)Saadiyat Island (Drone Shows 6:00pm, 7:30pm, 9:00pm, 10:30pm; Light Painting 6:40 PM, 8:05 PM and 9:40 PM
Jim Denevan (b. 1961) (USA)Self Similar (2023)Fahid Island (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Jumairy (b. 1992) (UAE)Luciferin Shores (2023)Lulu Island (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Latifa Saeed (b. 1985) (UAE)Al Duroob (2023)Corniche Road (5:30pm – 6:00am)
Luciana Abait (b. 1971) (Argentina)Agua (2021)Corniche Road (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Mohammed Kazem (b. 1969) (UAE)Directions, UAE (2023)Al Samaliyah Island (TBC after 20 Dec)
Nadia Kaabi-Linke (b. 1978) (Tunisia)Bait Al Nur (2023)Corniche Road (5:30pm – 6:00am)
Nujoom Alghanem (b. 1962) (UAE)Flying Ships (2023)Lulu Island (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (b. 1967) (Mexico)Translation Island (2023): Collider, Dune Ringers, Polyethylene Basin, Pulse Island, Recorded Assembly, Sandbox, Shadow Tuner, Thermal Drift, Translation Lake, Translation StreamLulu Island (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Rain Wu (b. 1987) (Taiwan)One with the Soil, One with the Cloud (2023)Jubail Mangroves Park (TBC)
Samia Halaby (b. 1936) (Palestine)City (1992-2019) Yafa (1992-2019)Corniche Road (5:30pm – 1:00am)
Shezad Dawood (b. 1974) (UK)Coral Alchemy (Acropora Grove) (2023)Corniche, Al Kasir Beach (5:30pm – 6:00am)
Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976) (India)This Horizon Inside of Us (2023)Corniche Road (5:30pm – 6:00am)
teamLab (est. 2001) (Japan)Autonomous Resonating Life and Resonating Trees (2023); Forest of Autonomous Resonating Life (2023); Giant Solidified Spark (2023); Life is Continuous Light – Mangrove Forest (2023); Resonating Microcosms – Solidified Light Color (2023); Pillars that Dance with the Wind (2023); Universe of Fire Particles on the Island (2023)Al Samaliyah Island (TBC after 20 Dec)
Information provided by Ogilvy on behalf of DCT Abu Dhabi and Public Art Abu Dhabi
teamLab, Pillars that Dance with the Wind © teamLab. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi, 2023.jpg
teamLab, Pillars that Dance with the Wind © teamLab. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi, 2023
Manar Carsten Höller Abu Dhabi Dots 2023 – Lance Gerber

Manar Abu Dhabi Ticket Price & Getting There

In order to visit some of the Manar Abu Dhabi locations, it will be necessary to arrive by boat; others can be reached on foot from popular locations across the city.

The boats are ticketed with a small fee for the transportation, whilst those visible from shore are free to observe and admire. Here’s how to get to each of the key event locations launched in November 2023:

Eastern Mangroves

Accessible by boat (paid ticket required – adults AED 25, children 3-10 years AED10)

Google Map

Lulu Island

Accessible by boat (paid ticket required adults AED 25, children 3-10 years AED10)

Google Map

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Free in the Louvre Abu Dhabi Gardens on Saadiyat Island

Google Map

Fahid Island

Free Accessible by footbridge (between Yas & Jubail Islands)

Google Map

Al Samaliyah Island

Open from 21 December. Accessible by boat from Yas Bay (paid ticket required adults AED 25, children 3-10 years AED10) | Prebook here on Ticketmaster

Google Map

Note that due to the overwhelming popularity of the exhibits on Lulu and Al Samaliyah islands, the organisers have now arranged ticket pre-booking for the boats via Ticketmaster. This will hopefully help alleviate the extremely long queues that have been experienced for the exhibits, particularly on weekends.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Drone Show Timings

One of the most popular instalments so far and easy to get to exhibits is the drone show “Persistence of the Form” by Groupe F at the Louvre Abu Dhabi garden (parking at the Louvre).

  • The scheduled times for the Louvre Abu Dhabi drone show are 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM, 9:00 PM, and 10:30 PM.
  • In between the drone show, there is also the Light Painting show, which takes place nightly at 6:40 PM, 8:05 PM and 9:40 PM (This has changed from the originally advertised timings 6:30 PM, 8:00 PM, 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM)

Expect each of the shows to last for 25 minutes.

More Events in Abu Dhabi This Winter

For more events in Abu Dhabi this winter, make sure you check out our complete guides to:

Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi

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Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.

Abu Dhabi Travel Planner

Feature Image: teamLab, Pillars that Dance with the Wind © teamLab. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi, 2023

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