Abu Dhabi, Job appointments, Lourve Abu Dhabi, Museums

Louvre Abu Dhabi appoints Dr. Souraya Noujaim as Scientific, Curitorial & Collections management director

Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced the appointment of Dr. Souraya Noujaim as its first Scientific, Curitorial and Collections management director.

Over the past four years, Dr. Noujaim has been mostly based in Abu Dhabi, working on the  Louvre Abu Dhabi project as Curator for Islamic Art at Agence France-Muséums and heading the museum’s section dedicated to medieval times.

In her new role she will oversee the scientific, curatorial and the museum collection management services of the Jean Nouvel-designed museum.

“The Scientific, Curatorial & Collections Management Department plays a vital role in our core mission: it is primarily responsible for assembling and helping visitors understand their path through the museum, organised around central themes of humanity,” said Manuel Rabaté, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

“The path is illustrated by Louvre Abu Dhabi’s rich collection of masterpieces and artefacts, which originated from across the world. Souraya Noujaim has been instrumental not only during Louvre Abu Dhabi’s path to the opening but also for the conception of the scientific and cultural project.”

“Over more than four years, within the Agence France-Muséums scientific team, during the prefiguration phase of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Souraya Noujaim has constantly demonstrated her commitment to the project as a whole and, in particular, for the conception of the museum galleries she was in charge of. She has an in-depth knowledge of the challenges inherent to the recent creation of the first universal museum in the Arab world. That’s also a choice driven by continuity and mutual trust between the French and Emirati parties in order to enable Louvre Abu Dhabi to excel globally in the scientific field,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of Musée du Louvre.

The museum’s expanding collection now comprises of over 620 important artworks and artifacts, from archaeological pieces to decorative arts, neoclassical sculptures, modern paintings, and contemporary installations.

Architect Jean Nouvel was personally involved in creating the museum’s interiors in additional to the overall museum programme. 

Noujaim began her career at Musée du Louvre and has since worked for major cultural institutions, in addition to opening the first Islamic Art Department rooms of Musée du Louvre and in landmark exhibitions at Musée du Louvre and Grand Palais.

She later worked for the British Museum to participate in the study of the collection of weights and measures in the Arabic section of the Department of Coins and Medals. She has taught at the École du Louvre for several years where in 2013 she held the Islamic Art History chair.

Noujaim holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Art History and Archaeology, with a degree in Museum studies and postgraduate research diplomas from École du Louvre and Paris-Sorbonne University. She has also studied Arab Islamic civilisation at the INALCO.

In an interview with Jean Nouvel, he told designMENA that the typologies of Arab cities informed the design of the museum. 

However, recently Palestinian-Jordanian architect Rasem Badran wrote in a Facebook post that the Lourve Abu Dhabi’s architecture does not reflect the “traditional architectural texture of Arab cities.”