If you are under impression that the glam city of Dubai is just about skyscrapers and state of the art shopping malls, then you are slightly mistaken. The city is home to a number of museums that feature the city's history that dates back to when Bedouin traders would stop off to rest beside Dubai Creek.
Heres Luxhabitat's pick of the best museums in Dubai that are suitable for people of all ages.
1. Dubai Museum
One of the most famous museums in Dubai, Dubai Museum is located in the Al Fahidi neighbourhood of Bur Dubai. The museum is a part of the Dubai Fort that was built in 1787, that is around 200 years ago. The fort would back then act as the fort of defense. The 4000-square metre museum features 3000 years of Gulf history and showcases the everyday life of Dubai before oil was discovered and thus gives you a glimpse of its history and heritage. Dubai Museum also has on feature galleries that recreate historic local houses, mosques, souks, date farms, desert and marine life. It also throws light on the enchanting history of pearl-diving in Dubai, and showcases actual weights and scales that were used at the time. The items on feature date as far back as 3000 BC and are carefully preserved.
Where: Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai
Timing: 8.30 am to 8.30 pm (Sat to Thu); 2.30 pm to 8.30 pm (Fri)
2. Etihad Museum
Covering an area of 25,000 square metre, Etihad Museum is located at the iconic landmark where UAE was founded in 1971. The museum features a number of pavilions that showcase experience-driver exhibitions interactive programs and education initiatives that especially emphasis on the period between 1968 and 1974. They will help educate you the UAE's constitution, along with the rights, privileges and responsibilities that it bestows upon the people of the country.
Where: Jumeirah, Dubai
Timing: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm
3. Salsali Private Museum
The first private in Dubai or contemporary Middle Eastern and international art, Salsali Private Museum was established in November 2011 by Ramin Salsali. The museum features exhibitions that are known for showcasing artworks from the Salsali private collection, and the museum hosts visiting exhibitions from across the globe. It serves as an independent center for art collectors and provides an insight into a Contemporary Middle Eastern and International Art.
Where: Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai
Timing: 11.00 am to 6.00 pm
4. Naif Museum
Built in 1939, Naif Museum is the first police station in Dubai as well as is the headquarters of Public Prosecution and the Civil Court during that time. It was in the early 1990s that the fort got renovated and its archeological features were preserved, followed by one of its wings getting converted into an official museum in 1997. Since then the museum is open to visitors. Hosting two showrooms, Naif Museum showcases models of police uniforms, medals and badges of police ranks, equipment and weapons of the police since the formation of the force until today, along with models of arrest and detention rooms. The museum is also known to participate in regular UAE National events.
Where: Naif, Deira, Dubai
Timing: 8.00 am to 2.00 pm (Sun to Thu)
5. Al Shindagha Museum
Located on Dubai Creek, Al Shindagha Museum features the tales of UAE's past and its traditions. You will also be able to enjoy a state-of-the-art multimedia experience, that will guide you through the creek's dramatic development over centuries. The tour is beautifully curated and features interactive videos, touch displays and historic photographs and artifacts and throws light into the lives of Emiratis back in the days.
The museum hosts the Perfume House that features exotic Emirati fragrances. It also showcases the traditional techniques that were used to make scented oils and perfumes.
Where: Dubai Creek
Timing: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (Sat, Sun, Wed, Thu); 10.00 am to 7.00 pm (Mon); 2.30 pm to 9.00 pm (Fri)
6. Saruk Al Hadid Archaeology Museum
Located in the Shindagha Heritage District, Saruk Al Hadid Archeological Museum was founded in 3rd July 2016. The building that hosts the museum was once the home of Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum Al Maktoum in 1928. It is dedicated to the discovery of an excavation site dating back to the Iron Age. You can experience the museum's excellent audio-video treat, along with the range of historical materials that throw light into the unearthed civilization.
Where: Al Shindagha, Dubai
Timing: 9.00 am to 2.00 pm (Sat & Thu); 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (Sun to Wed)
7. Dubai Police Museum
Dubai Police Museum was founded on 19th November 1987. It is known for mainly showcasing the development and progress of the Dubai Police Force. The museum has on feature old photographs, exhibits, weapons and equipment of the force. Also on display are handmade items by prisoners.
Where: Umm Suqeim, Dubai
Timing: 8.00 am to 8.00 pm
8. The Coins Museum
Established in 2004, The Coins Museum hosts two floors, that are built of coral, stone, plaster, chandal wood, leaves and trunks of palm trees and teakwood. The museum showcases coins from various historical eras. Hosting 8 distinctive display rooms, the museum offers you the unique opportunity to have a look at 470 number of rare coins that date back to different historical eras.
Where: Al Fahidi neighbourhood, Bur Dubai
Timing: 8.00 am to 2.00 pm (Sun to Thu)
9. Coffee Museum
Located in the historic neighbourhood of Al Fahidi in Bur Dubai, Coffee Museum features simple oriental setting, yet offering international standards. The two-floor museum offers you the opportunity to learn about different types of coffee roasting & brewing techniques and also the influence that it has on the Emirati culture.
Where: Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai
Timing: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
10. The Pearl Museum
The Emirates NBD Pearl Museum showcases a collection of exquisite natural pearls and examples of magnificent pearl jewellery. The pearls on display have been donated by Sultan Al Owais, one of Dubai’s most renowned pearl merchants, poets and philanthropists. The museum also features instruments and tools that the divers and sailors used to harvest and ship pearls back in the days.
Where: Beniyas Road, Dubai
Timing: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
11. The History of Cinema Museum
Suitable for people of all ages, The History of Cinema Museum shows light on the prehistory of cinema. The museum is an ideal place for cinema lovers, the main purpose of which is to share the prehistory of cinema through objects that are complemented by digital clips and interactive models, that have been collected over 35 years. The items that are showcased in the museum feature the development of visual entertainment to the modern era of cinema.
Where: Tecom, Barsha Heights, Dubai
Timing: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (Sat to Thu)
12. The Women's Museum
The national archive and documentation centre of The Women's Museum is dedicated to none other than the women of the UAE. The museum features the activities of Emirati women in the fields of arts, academia, business, culture, politics and also society in general.
Where: Old Gold Souq, Deira, Dubai
Timing: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm (Sat to Thu)