In Dubai you do not do half things. Especially if you would like to know what an exciting story this really small emirate has left behind. For a long time it was discussed how to convey history, traditions or craftsmanship from past times in a museum in such a way that every visitor can understand the history of Dubai. Only those who know the history of Dubai can understand why Dubai is today as it is. The scene-stealing blend of shingle and glitz in demonstrates that it’s simply beyond its refined downtown, ultra-modern architecture, global feasting, and fizzy nightlife.
In Dubai, you can also find many museums, exhibition halls, landmarks, heritage sites and monuments scattered over its notable historic neighborhoods including Al Shindagha and Al Fahidi and that gives a good doze of culture and history.
List of Dubai Museums, Galleries & Heritage Sites
Presenting a portion of the most huge and rich accumulations of UAE, these museums in Dubai, galleries and heritage sites – the vast majority of which are housed inside charmingly reestablished old-styled customary forts, manors and other old- age structures – are astounding for their privileged craftsmanship displays and accessibility to all.
Here listed are the main Dubai museums that are worth visiting, as they will make you can discover the origins, traditions and culture of Dubai.
1. Dubai Museum @ the fort Al-Fahidi
This is the place where you can find the hidden treasures of Dubai. The Dubai Museum is housed in Al Fahidi Fort dating from 1787, the oldest building in the city. Here you will find life-size maps and exhibits that illustrate everyday life before the discovery of oil. In the galleries of the museum, which opened its doors in 1971, historical Arab houses, mosques, souks, date plantations as well as desert and sea-dwellers are shown. The history of pearl dipping is also discussed, and the weights, scales and sieves of the pearl merchants are shown.
The exhibition also includes artifacts from Africa and Asia as well as finds from the region, which were found at various archaeological sites and go back to the third millennium BC. There is also a souvenir shop where you can buy a memory of the visit to the Dubai Museum. As the Dubai Museum is right next to the Dubai Creek you can also look at it and make a tour. This museum should be in your list if you are exploring museums in Dubai.
Address: Al Fahidi St., Bur Dubai, Opposite Grand Mosque – Dubai
Timings: Monday – Saturday │8:30 am – 8:30 pm │Friday 2:30 am – 8:30 pm.
2. Juma al Majid Heritage & Cultural Centre
Established in 1991, Juma al Majid Heritage & Cultural Centre is a not for profit reference research and culture centre and library. The accumulations and collection of the library counts more than 350,000 Arab dialect titles, with a focus on Arab and Islamic legacy, in addition to 17,000 titles in English, French, German, Russian and different languages. There is a separate collection of national heritage and history in various languages, with books and materials relating just to the Arabian Gulf.
The library honored and established by Juma al Majid who is a researcher, scholar and a philanthropist who is accompanied by the authorities and specialists from the center and has gone to numerous nations to gather Arab and Islamic compositions (firsts and duplicates). Here you can find a treasure trove of black-and-white photographs of Dubai at the turn of the last century, you will find thousands of books on Islamic history and current affairs and 3,000 periodicals and rare books, many with exquisite calligraphy.
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Visitors are more than welcome to read any book in the reading room for free however not allowed to be taken along to home. This antique museum should be in your list of must-visit cinemas in Dubai.
Address: Hor al Anz St, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
3. Car Museum – The Emirates National Auto Museum
The Emirates National Auto Museum exhibits an amazing private collection of vehicles of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. The collection houses a huge collection of cars and other vehicles; some seemingly bought from owners there and then, such as a customized camper van, and others that are received as presents from all around the world. While some have been kept as originally intended, others have been modified to suit the preference of the owner. It will take about 2 and a half hour drive from Dubai but is definitely worth the trip out.
Here you will find rainbow color Mercedes, one for each day of the week; and they all are fitted with expediencies such as refrigerators and LED. There is also a collection of military vehicles into which children are allowed to climb; one even has a golfing range on top.
Address: The Emirates National Auto Museum is situated at about one hour drive south of Abu Dhabi, on the E65 road to Liwa Oasis.
Timings: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm │2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
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4. Pearl Museum Emirates NBD
Prior to the discovery of oil, pearls were the largest sources of revenue in the Gulf, whose warm, shallow waters produced the most refined pearls. Thanks to the foresight and generosity of Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais, a great pearl dealer of the 1940’s and 1950’s, and his son, Sultan Al Owais, you can admire many of these wonders of nature at Emirates NBD Pearl Museum. In addition to exhibiting sublime pieces of jewelry, the museum pays tribute to the lives of divers and sailors through showcases displaying the instruments and tools they used to harvest and transport this precious cargo.
Please note that you must arrange with Emirates NBD beforehand to visit the Pearl Museum. It is preferable that museum visits are limited from 8 to 10 people, and to 20 people maximum for large groups.
Address: 10 Beniyas Road – Dubai – United Arab Emirates.
5. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
Sheik Saeed Al Maktoum House was the official dwelling of Sheik Saeed Al Maktoum, who was the Ruler of Dubai from 1912 to 1958 and who is the grandfather of the present Ruler, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The house which dates from 1896 houses an exceptional and unique collection of historic coins, photographs, stamps and archives that record the history of this land of golden sand.
Address: Al Shindagha Area, facing end of Dubai Creek.
Timings: Monday – Saturday │8:30 am – 8:30 pm │Friday 3:00 am – 8:30 pm.
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6. Hatta Heritage Village
Hatta Heritage Village is situated in the heart of the majestic mountains of Hatta which is a lovely inland resort and an ideal weekend getaway in Dubai. It is an important and a great historical site for tourists, dating back to 2000-3000 years. The Heritage Village consists of more than 30 buildings and it also makes a great picnic spot located only at a drive of an hour from Dubai.
Address: Hatta – Dubai – United Arab Emirates.
Timings: Monday – Saturday │8:00 am – 10:00 pm │Friday 2:00 am – 10:00 pm.
7. Dubai Heritage & Diving Village
Dubai Heritage & Diving Village is a traditional heritage village, which is located near the mouth of Dubai Creek in the Shindagha district. Dubai Heritage & Diving Village features potters and weavers practicing traditional crafts, and also exhibits the demonstrations of pearl diving. It is a place where the visitor can take a step back in time and experience some of Dubai’s culture and heritage.
Address: Al Shindagha Area, facing end of Dubai Creek next to Sheikh Saeed’s House.
Timings: Monday – Saturday │8:30 am – 8:30 pm │Friday 3:00 am – 8:30 pm.