Did you know that Dubai first began as a small pearling and fishing village in 1833? Today it has been transformed into a thriving multicultural metropolis that is known for its modern architecture, interesting history and spirited culture. This city is home to the famous Palm Jumeirah, a unique manmade island filled with luxurious hotels, villas, and pristine beaches. There is no doubt the city makes for a fantastic vacation destination!
If you happen to be planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates, you should keep this city in mind. Aside from fantastic landmarks and tourist attractions (don't miss places to look for shopping finds too), Dubai is home to a long list of museums that might pique your interest, like the Dubai Museum and the Al Fahidi Fort. We will introduce you to just a few of them below and if you have some extra time you can check them out yourself.
If you've just landed at Dubai Airport and hope to get started sightseeing right away, you don't have to carry your bags around the city with you. Instead, just leave them at a Bounce luggage facility in Dubai. See the sights without the burden of extra gear.
This Dubai museum is located in the city's beautiful historical neighborhood of Bur Dubai. As you might have guessed, the museum teaches you all about coins and you can learn about 470 different ones! The museum has interactive displays and touch screens that you can use to read up on facts about the coins that interest you the most.
This museum is small but still very informative and first made an appearance in the city in 2004. As you wander through the museum, you will find 8 different rooms to explore each offering a unique theme, beginning with a history lesson on coinage and moving on throughout the years and different areas around the world. The exhibits will also teach you a bit about jewelry, stamps, the history of the city and the ruling family. It is housed in an old two-story building close to the Ruler's Dewan.
Address: Its full address is 777X+RWG - Bur Dubai - Dubai Heritage Village - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
Saruq Al Hadid Museum
You will get taken on a journey through time at this Dubai museum! On your trip through the different exhibits and displays, you will get to see artifacts and objects dating back from the Iron Age that were found at the recently discovered archaeological site Saruq Al Hadid. Back when it was discovered, this site was known to be one of the Arabian Peninsula's richest excavation sites!
The site was discovered by chance as his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum spotted it while he was flying over the Rub-Al Khali Desert in 2002. Once it was explored, nearly 8,000 items were discovered, all made of iron, pottery and gold, and they serve as proof that human life existed in this area as early as the third millennium BCE. The museum features interactive exhibits, audio-visual displays and even hands-on activities where you can dig up artifacts out of dirt (kids will love it!).
Address: To get to this archaeological museum you should go to 778Q+PVV - Al Fahidi - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
The Etihad Museum takes you on an adventure through the founding and recent history of the United Arab Emirates, mostly beginning after the oil boom. There is a main focus on the years between 1968 and 1974 since there was quite a lot happening during that period. Come pay them a visit to learn all about it!
In the displays, you will find photographs, artifacts and documentaries as well as personal belongings of the founding fathers themselves, along with a touch screen where you can learn about their family tree. There is also a library, a café and a gorgeous garden on site. The museum is appropriately located next to the Union House which is where the constitution was signed (and the Union House is free to visit!).
Address: Their complete address is 1 Jumeirah St - Al Mina - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
Museum of the Future
Once you see the Museum of the Future it will be very hard to forget it. This is a new addition to the museums in Dubai and the building will certainly catch your eye. Inside it displays some very impressive and futuristic exhibits that focus on cutting edge technology and AI as well as contemporary concerns like climate change. Guest speakers and workshops are sometimes held here as well.
The building is split into 7 floors with immersive pieces and ideas of what our possible futures could look like. If you come to visit you will get to take a virtual look into outer space and get educated on topics like bioengineering, different ecosystems, health, and plans for resource developments that could happen all the way up until 2071. The museum is hard to miss and is situated adjacent to the Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
Address: Find them on Sheikh Zayed Road - Trade Centre - Trade Centre 2 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
Al Shindagha Museum
This is one of the top museums in Dubai for learning about the city. If you've ever visited the Hatta Heritage Village of Dubai you might be wondering how Old Dubai became the city that it is today. The Al Shindagha Museum can help to explain the vibrant history, culture and early origins to you, and you can learn some pretty interesting facts!
The exhibits of this Dubai museum feature artifacts from the 19th century as well as interactive videos and photos. While you are here you will also get access to the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum which is the oldest existing building in the city! Another place that you can visit includes the Perfume House where you can learn about how different scents were made in the past. To get here just make your way to the heart of the Al Shindagha area right on the coast of Dubai Creek.
Address: Their address is 288 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
History of Cinema Museum
Are you someone who is passionate about movies? The History of Cinema Museum will definitely be one of your favorite Dubai museums! This museum lets you explore the world of cinema through pictures and videos, and houses nearly 300 relics. Many of them date back between the 17th and 20th centuries, and it can be cool to see how the world of films has changed over the years!
As you will learn in the museum, the history of cinema actually started about 30,000 years ago with the prehistoric peoples. However, the way that they put on shows using shadows and light are much different than the incredible movies seen in theaters today!
Address: Come pay them a visit at MCN Hive Building, 1st Floor, TECOM - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
Although history lovers probably know that Dubai was a popular gold trading hub, you might not know that it was also a fantastic place for pearl diving. These beautiful precious pearls were once highly sought after but, when modern equipment allowed for the creation of artificial pearls, the demand slowed down considerably.
The Pearl Museum is a sign of remembrance of this time as one of the historical eras of Dubai and is also one of the best places to see real, delicate pearls. You will also get a brief history lesson on the equipment and processes taken for finding pearls. It is housed in the National Bank of Dubai and you need to make an appointment before you can get access to the museum.
Address: They are located at 10 Baniyas Rd - Port Saeed - Riggat Al Buteen - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
Most cities have museums for history and science, but did you know that Dubai even has a museum centered around coffee? Apparently, Arabs were some of the first to drink coffee recreationally, and it is thanks to them that coffee culture has made its way around the world.
Throughout its exhibits, you can find all sorts of coffee-related artifacts like coffee grinders, pots and roasters that all coffee lovers will adore. You will also get the chance to hear stories related to the legends and origins of coffee, and you will get to try different flavors of the drink too! The Coffee Museum is located in the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood.
Address: Their address is Historical Neighborhood, Bastakiya, Villa 44 - Al Hisn St - Al Fahidi - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
There is no doubt that the world would not be the same way that it is without women, and this museum showcases some really incredible individuals. Come learn about some of the most notable and important Emirati women at this Dubai museum!
The exhibit focuses on powerful women in the United Arab Emirates from the past in all sorts of sectors. This includes gorgeous artworks drawn by women all around the country and you will get the opportunity to see a collection of their personal belongings as well.
Address: The museum is situated behind the RAK Bank Building at Al Sabkha, Gold Souq, Near - Al Khor Street - Deira - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
The Naif Museum is a very interesting museum and one that you will definitely want to visit during your time in Dubai. It was actually the city's first police station that was built out of clay back in 1939, and that is the focus of all its exhibits!
When you are at the Naif Police Station you will get the chance to take an up-close look at detention rooms as well as how police uniforms have changed throughout the years. Other attractions include real medals, weapons and badges from the Dubai police force. Add this place to your Dubai museum tour!
Address: They are located at Sikkath Al Khail Road Naif Opp Hyatt Regency Hotel - Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
What are the best free museums in Dubai?
Sometimes you have to plan your vacation on a budget and that is when free activities come in handy. The Coins Museum is a great option so keep it in mind when you are planning your travel itinerary!
Did we mention that this museum is also free? You won't have to pay a thing to get in, so you should definitely visit it when you get the chance.
Which are the best museums in downtown Dubai?
Museum of the Future
The benefit of exploring the downtown part of the city is that you will be close to lots of museums and art galleries. The Museum of the Future is located in the area and is easy to get to as well!
You will find the Etihad Museum just outside of the downtown area so it will still be easily accessible from nearly anywhere in the city. Go check it out if you ever find yourself nearby!
Are there any cheap museums in Dubai?
Al Shindagha Museum
One great thing about the museums in Dubai is that you can find quite a few that offer really affordable entry. The Al Shindagha Museum, for example, only costs about AED 15 for adults, AED 10 for groups and just AED 5 for university or high school students!
Saruq Al Hadid Museum
Another option for cheap Dubai museums is the Saruq Al Hadid Museum. You can get in for only AED 20 for adults and AED 10 for kids. Entry for the elderly is free.
Getting to Know Dubai Through its Museums
This city has such a fascinating past and each historic neighborhood seems to tell its own story. Whenever you visit a new place it can be nice to learn a little more about it, and walking through the exhibits of its top museums is a great way to do just that.
If you take our advice and explore some of the museums that we mentioned above then you can learn a lot about the Middle East and Dubai itself, as well as other topics like science, archeology and history. We hope that you have a fantastic time getting to know this city!