10 Museums To Visit While In Dubai

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1) Dubai Museum:

  • Where? Al Fahidi Fort.

Ever wondered how Dubai rose from an impoverished pearl hunting community to oil-rich international tourism hub? All is revealed at Al Fahidi Fort, the city's oldest surviving structure and now its premier historical institution. Walking through the fortified gateway of Dubai Museum is like stepping back in time to world of Bedouin villages, mud brick buildings and tribal warfare. A vast collection of archaeological relics, artefacts and recreations vividly illustrate Dubai's development across thousands of years, from pre-Islamic to the foundation of the UAE in 1971 and modern economic prosperity.

Dubai Museum, 1950s Exhibition

Dubai Museum 1950 Exhibition | Photo Credit: Dubai 360.

2) Coins Museum:

  • Where? Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai.

Take a short walk east of Al Fahidi Fort and it won't be long before you reach the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding and the Heritage House (Al Khor Street, Al Ras Metro Station, Deira). This complex of buildings is where you'll encounter the Coins Museum, an attraction which showcases thousands of years worth of rare and beautiful coinage. The main exhibition is divided into 7 displays, each representing a different era with its native currency. You'll see over 470 individual coins, some from as back as the Sasanian Empire and as far flung as Egypt and Turkey.

Dubai Coins Museum

Dubai Coins Museum | Photo Credit: Dubai 360.

3) Al Shindagha Museum:

  • Where? Al Khaleej Road, Bur Dubai.

This historical residence was once owned by former ruler of Dubai Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum. Until very recently it directly bore his name, though it's now simply referred to as the Shindagha Museum after the historical neighbourhood in which it's located. It's similar in function to Dubai Museum, but focuses more on the emirate's post 19th century history. You'll about Dubai's transition out of the pre-oil era through an insightful collection of vintage photographs, coins, letters, stamps, maps and more.

Al Shindagha Museum

Al Shindagha Museum, or, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House.

4) Camel Museum:

  • Where? Al Khaleej Road, Bur Dubai.

They're one of the most iconic symbols of the Arabian peninsula, oft seen silhouetted against many a desert sunset, but how much do you really know about the emblematic camel? Right next door to the Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House you'll find a building which once served as the royal camel stables, now renovated into an institution that explores every aspect of these hardy animals. Numerous displays illustrate their physiology and life-cycle, while others focus on their significance within Arabic culture, from depictions in literature to racing traditions and as a means transportation.

Dubai Camel Museum

Dubai Camel Museum | Photo Credit: Dubai 360.

5) Traditional Architecture Museum:

  • Where? Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai.

Remain in the Al Shindagha district if you'd like to see and learn about the evolution of Emirati architectural styles. The Traditional Architectural Museum is housed within another former royal residence, that of Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum. A striking structural gem in its own right it's easy to see why this particular building was chosen to house such an institution. Inside you'll discover a treasure trove architectural models, ancient construction tools, and a bewildering variety of ornamental items.

Dubai Traditional Architecture Museum

Traditional Architectural Museum | Photo Credit: Dubai 360.

6) Horse Museum:

  • Where? Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai.

If you enjoyed wandering around the camel museum then consider a stop-off at the Dubai Horse Museum, situated within the former home of Sheikha Moza bint Saeed Al Maktoum. Here you'll uncover the legacy of the much celebrated Arabian horse, as well as other breeds and their cultural position across the Arabian Peninsula. View anatomical models, art, riding equipment, historical photographs and more all in your own time. Free guided tours are available to those who want to make the most of their experience.

Dubai Horse Museum

Dubai Horse Museum | Photo Credit: Dubai 360.

7) Dubai Heritage House:

  • Where? Al Ahmadiya Street, Al Ras.

Dubai's Heritage House lies close to the Spice Souk in the old Al Ahmadiya neighbourhood. Once owned by Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmouk the Heritage House now serves as a full-scale reconstruction of Arabian domestic life around the turn of the 20th century. Your window into the daily lives of the houses' former owners will be illustrated by a selection of dioramas arranged throughout key rooms, such as the majlis, kitchens and bride room.

Dubai Heritage House

8) Al Ahmadiya School Museum:

  • Where? Al Ahmadiya Street, Al Ras.

Next door to the Heritage House is perhaps the most important facet of Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmouk's legacy. He constructed Dubai's first official private school, a now disused educational institution which today features detailed reconstructions of primary academic life in the early 20th century.

Al Ahmadiya School Museum

9) Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili:

  • Where? 21/1 15b Street, Al Ras.

Literary and architectural heritage go hand-in-hand at the former home of Arabian poet Mubarak bin Hamad bin Mubarak Al- Manea Al-Oqaili. Pay a visit and learn about his contributions to Arabic literature and to see how men of his status lived around the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili

Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili | Photo Credit: Dubai 360.

10) Dubai Municipality Museum:

  • Where? Old Baladiya Street, Al Ras.

A short distance from Al-Oqaili's house and the Deira Spice Souk is the Dubai Municipality Museum. It's a small place without a huge amount to offer, but it does contain a collection of interesting documents, photographs and artefacts relating to the city's bureaucracy and infrastructure.

Dubai Municipality Museum

Municipality Museum | Photo Credit: Google.

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