Explore Abu Dhabi’s Public Sculptures

Abu Dhabi’s artistic credentials speak for themselves. From international museums to a host of local institutes, there are plenty of places art lovers can find inspiration across the city.

But a stroll through the capital’s public spaces is as good as any visit to a museum, with public artworks and sculptures dotted around the city.

The newly opened Yas Bay on Yas Island is home to several impressive slices, many of which have been specially created by internationally renowned artists.

Acclaimed New York artist Kaws, real name Brian Donnelly, renowned for his renditions of pop culture icons including Mickey Mouse and Snoopy, created Last days for the area’s public art trail. It features his cartoon character with crossed out eyes and a deformed mouth.

At the water’s edge, visitors to Yas Bay can also see a 10-meter-tall gleaming golden flower sculpture by Takashi Murakami, one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary artists.

'Flower Parent and Child', a golden sculpture by Takashi Murakami on the waterfront promenade in Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi.  Khushnum Bhandari / The National

The parent and child flower The installation features Murakami’s signature gold leaf work and is one of his largest pieces to date. All sides of the sculpture are decorated with floral designs and the piece is designed to represent hope.

The sculpture

Yas Bay is also home to The emerging man sculpture, a giant head sticking out of the water. Located near the waterfront steps, the concrete artwork is also called The giant and features an eight-meter-tall bronze-colored head and two oversized hands. Partly submerged in the Persian Gulf, the sculpture was designed to withstand salt water, high sea temperatures and increasing humidity.

'Astrocat', one of four CoolRainLabo sculptures along the waterfront in Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi.  Khushnum Bhandari / The National

Other pieces come from renowned artists including CoolRainLabo, responsible for the four Astrochat installations located in the destination’s waterfront plaza, and Indo-Canadian street artist Fatspatrol who created the giant mural Humans near the Etihad Arena.

Other pieces around Yas Bay include installations by artists Supakitch, MonkeyBird and Beastman, all of whom have transformed substations into colorful canvases.

The Masdar Park camel art installation in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.  Victor Besa / The National

Elsewhere in the city, visitors to Masdar City Central Park will see a giant camel sculpture standing against the greenery. Crafted from twisted metal, the camel features an elongated build, as if stretched.

Scroll through the gallery above to see more public artwork from Abu Dhabi

Updated: September 09, 2022, 6:01 p.m.