Dubai Museum Overview

The main museum in Dubai is the Dubai Museum located at Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787. It is known to be the oldest existing building in Dubai. It was opened by the ruler of Dubai with an aim of displaying the traditional way of Emirate’s life, in 1971. At the entrance, there is one fort that was constructed earlier and various displays along with it. From there, one will move to the galleries along the path and in the galleries, you will come to witness the general portrayals of the culture of the Emirates which was famous during the 1800s. 

The local antiquities and handicrafts from different countries and continents like Africa and Asia are well presented. These items were the traded collections. The number of visitors to the museum was increasing year by year and thus its fame was enhanced and reached beyond the horizon.

Highlights: The strong Al Fahidi Fort is the Numero Uno attraction at the museum that has an immaculate exhibition of the emirate’s transitions from fishing to become one of the illustrious leaders of commerce, finance and trade. There are displays of how important the sea to the natives before they started digging out oil and there is another room where the artefacts of ancient archaeological brilliance excavated from the nearby sites.

Location: It is situated at Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, Opposite to the Grand Mosque in Dubai, UAE. It is situated at a distance of around 12 kms from Dubai main city and one can reach there via Abu Dhabi- Ghweifat International Highway.

Timing: The museum is open on all days from Saturday to Thursday from 08:30 am to 08:30 pm and from 02:30 pm to 08:30 pm on Fridays.

Price: Adults have to pay 3 dirhams and children have to pay 1 dirham to enter the museum.

Dubai, popularly known as the “shopper’s paradise” or “the city of gold” is also a great destination for history enthusiasts for having the most prominent museum of the Emirates, the Dubai Museum. Being a part of the legendary Al Fahidi Fort in Dubai, the museum is the earliest building of UAE and a key attraction in Dubai for culture aficionados. The stunning architectural marvel of the museum stands as a chronicle of the Arab world-its heritage and culture. The Bastakia Quarter and the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding are the two prominent heritage sites near Dubai Museum.

The Al Fahidi Fort was built in the year 1787 by the then ruler of Dubai for political and residential purposes. Later in 1971, the battered citadel was renovated by Sheikh Rasheed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum as a museum for visitors. In 1995, another underground museum was built and added to the old fort. The museum is a treasure trove of monuments, diagrams, documents, tombs and other relics that give you a vivid picture about the earliest settlements in Dubai.

The museum has different wings that are dedicated to the different aspects of life and living in Dubai. The Al Fahidi Fort Gallery descending down a spiral staircase in the south-western tower of the citadel comprises of artefacts dating back up to 1960 before oil was discovered. The full-scale wings of the museum featuring various relics of trade and commerce in ancient Dubai and video footage telecast at the background together give you a feeling of being on a real
souq (market) in ancient Dubai.

Following the
souq, one will find a model mosque and a desert bearing the testimony of the life and living of the Bedouins. Regardless to say, the largest wing of the museum is that of the seafarers which showcase their importance in the social structure of Dubai. Starting from the technique of making a dhow to the varied marine life underneath the Arabian Gulf, the seafarer diorama is a must-watch in the Dubai Museum.

The largest diorama of the museum is the Al Qusais Archaeological Site which reflects various stages of Dubai’s archaeological history. The relics from Jumeirah, Al Quasis and other sites date as early as back to 2000-1000 B.C. reflecting the glorious past of the Arab world. Your final stopover will be at a gift shop where you can find gift items and other souvenirs at surprisingly affordable prices.

Dubai Museum is a place where history and modern-day reality blend seamlessly making it a prominent cultural site of Dubai. The intricate architecture across the interior of the museum, local antiques and artefacts traded from the Asian and African countries down the centuries add to the rich collection of the museum. Thousands of people from all walks of life visit the museum to explore and gain knowledge about the social, cultural and political history of the people of the Emirates. In a nutshell, a visit to the Dubai Museum is an escape into the royal past and an experience worth making. 
Some unknown facts about Dubai Museum you should check out before planning your trip:

How To Reach

Dubai Museum is easily accessible from Dubai Airport and it takes about 8 minutes from the airport to reach your destination. From Airport Terminal 3 you can take a metro up to Burjuman Station. From there a connecting metro will take you up to Al Fahidi station. You have to walk up to the Dubai Museum from the station which takes about 9 minutes.

The second option is to take a taxi from Dubai Airport up to Dubai Museum that will take approximately 8 minutes to take you up to the museum and cost you around AED 55- AED 65. You can also hire an Uber from the airport till your destination.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Dubai Museum is between November and April when the climate is comparatively cooler than the rest of the year when it is scorching. Also, during this time of the year, tourists can witness the major festivals held in Dubai.

Other Essential Information

Al Fahidi Street, Ali Bin Abu Thalib Street, Bur Dubai, United Arab Emirates

TimingsMuseum remains open from Saturday to Thursday between 8:30 AM-8:30 PM

PriceEntrance fees are AED 3 (INR 58) for adults (per person) and AED 1 (INR 20) for children (per person under the age of 6). Visitors can purchase Dubai Museum ticket along with tickets for Dubai Fort as the museum ticket is inclusive of the fort ticket.

Places to Shop Near Dubai Museum

Check out on the prominent places to shop near Dubai Museum that will surely allure you to pay a visit and buy some exclusive items from the shopping paradise of the Middle East. Here are a few listed below:

1. Old Souk: Located in Bur Dubai in the southern side of Dubai Creek, Old Souk is also known as Textile Souk or Bur Dubai Souk which houses an array of stores selling fabrics, souvenirs, shoes, footwear etc. Old Souk is basically an immigrant market in the heart of old Dubai where Indian traders have settled and built a flourishing textile business; hence the name Textile Souk (market). Small retail shops with wooden doors on either side of the market with their display of colourful knickknacks are really inviting to the eyes.  Tourists willing to visit this traditional souk will have to get down at either Al Fahidi Metro station or Al Ghubaiba Metro Station. You can also take an abra (water taxi) from Deira to reach Old Souk.

2. Spice Souk: ‘Colourful’ and ‘aromatic’ are the two adjectives that you can generously use for Spice Souk. Discover a wide variety of Arabian spices, incense, medicinal herbs, dry fruits and many more things in this traditional market of Dubai. As you walk along the alleys of Spice Souk, your senses will be intoxicated by a myriad of flavours wafting in the air from various shops. It is a must-visit place for cookery bugs.

3. Gold Souk: This is probably the most hunted shopping destination in Dubai which every tourist includes in their bucket list even if it is just for window shopping. The covered alleys are home to numerous jewellery shops that sell extravagant ornaments of gold, silver, diamonds and other gemstones. Make sure you bargain the price of the jewellery before purchase as there is often a reduction as high as up to 30% on making charges.

4. Perfume Souk: If you are looking forward to buying some exclusive knickknack from Dubai, visiting the famous Perfume Souk will be all worth it. An array of exotic aromas coming from different directions will certainly tantalise your olfactory senses and beckon you towards its various sources. You can gather fair knowledge about oud and bakhoor and other intricacies of fragrance making in the Arab world and buy personalised fragrances according to your taste and personality.

5. Al Khaleej Centre: The high-end shopping complex stretching for about 6000 sq. ft. has more than 300 retail units (KFC, Pierre Cardin, Galadari etc.), electronic retail outlets and modern open souks (perfumery, bags etc.). Opening hours of the shopping complex are between 10 AM- 10 PM (Saturday to Thursday) and 5 PM- 10 PM on Fridays.

6. Al-Ain Centre: Al Ain Centre aka Computer Plaza is an exclusive store in Dubai which sells a wide range of internationally-branded electronic goods at competitive prices. There are over 60 independent retail shops that sell top-notch hardware, software programs and computer parts all under one roof.

Tips for Visiting Dubai Museum

Dubai is a city where culture and tradition blend seamlessly with modern lifestyle and therefore makes it a much-hunted travel destination for wanderlust people. Follow these tips for an exciting trip to the Dubai Museum:

- Dubai Museum is a treasure trove of valuable artefacts and relics. So, tourists are not allowed to touch or mishandle them in any way and acknowledge their antique value. Damage to museum property will be subject to stringent action with a hefty fine.

- Visitors must keep their mobile phones in silent mode. For taking cameras inside the museum premises one has to take prior permission of the museum authority.

- Visitors should be thoroughly particular about the timings of entry into the museum. No visitors will be allowed to enter before or after the scheduled timings.

- Maintaining proper dress code is highly recommended while touring around the prominent places in Dubai. Your dress code should not reflect any form of disregard towards the prevailing culture of Dubai.

- Smoking in public and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited.

- Since Dubai experiences hot and dry climate, you should drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated.
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Dubai Museum FAQs

Is Dubai Museum the oldest?

Dubai Museum is the oldest existing building in Dubai and a part of the Al Fahidi Fort which was built in 1787.

Who built the Dubai Museum?

The Dubai Museum was opened by the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Rasheed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1971.

Is Al Fahidi fort part of Dubai Museum?

Yes, Dubai Museum is a part of the Al Fahidi Fort.

How long does it take to view the whole museum?

It takes about 2-3 hours to take a view of the whole museum.

Is it allowed to take pictures inside the Museum?

Taking pictures may not be allowed inside the museum as it is a heritage site. As per photography laws of UAE taking photos of government organisations or restricted areas is strictly prohibited.

Can I carry food inside Dubai Museum?

No, carrying food inside Dubai Museum is not allowed as it may lead to littering of food packets and food residues making the premises dirty. But, there are a number of multi-cuisine restaurants and cafes close to the museum where all kinds of refreshments are available.

What is the Dubai Museum famous for?

Dubai Museum is the oldest museum of the UAE which stands as an emblem of the rich Arabian culture and lifestyle of the Emirates. Also, the museum fairly claims to be the oldest building of Dubai which was originally built in 1787. The life-size dioramas strewn across the museum featuring various aspects of Arabian lifestyle dating as early back as to around 3000 BC are something you just cannot afford to miss on your Dubai trip.

Is there a guide available for the museum tour?

Yes, you can hire a guide who can help you tour around the museum and amass a good deal of information about the heritage of the Emirates and the extravagant lifestyle of Bedouins.

Are there any restaurants near the Dubai museum?

You can treat your taste buds with authentic Arabian cuisines and other global fusion foods at the restaurants and cafes near the Dubai Museum after a tiring day trip. Here are a few to add in your bucket list:

- Fisherman’s Hub: 
Whether you are a strict vegetarian or a connoisseur of seafood, Fisherman’s Hub has everything to pamper your taste buds in the far off desert land. It is a great place to chill out with friends with sumptuous food and drink. The bar cum restaurant specialises in seafood and also serves Chinese and Indian cuisines. It is located about 0.1 Km from Dubai Museum.

- Baskins Robbins Ice Cream: 
If you have taken the smallest member of your family for your Dubai trip, an ice cream parlour has to be in your bucket list. Baskin Robbins has unlimited flavours in ice cream catering to the taste of children as well as adults. Some of the must-try are Hokey Pokey, Coffee Mocha Roasted Almond, Pistachio and Rocky Road flavoured ice creams. It is located about 0.1 Km from the museum.

-  Kailash Parbat: 
The famous restaurant chain has now opened its outlet in Dubai for tourists who want to taste Indian food away from the homeland. Don’t forget to try their Amritsari Kulcha with mashed potato stuffing and sesame topping which gives the kulcha a rich flavour. Also, their Lime Coriander Soup and Methi ki Sanzi are some of the popular cuisines that are worth a try. The restaurant is located about 0.1 Km from the museum.

- Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Café: 
To relish real Arabian food in a perfect ambience is something visitors look forward to in the restaurant. Sipping into the mezze and Karak tea at the backdrop of Arabian artwork in the walls of the tea house will never fail to amaze you. Gluten-free food is one of the specialities the restaurant is acclaimed among the health-conscious epicures for. It is located about 0.2 Km from Dubai Museum.

- Creek Side Restaurant & Café: 
It is a great place of cultural exchange and gastronomic feasting where visitors can enjoy food and participate in cultural debates, discussions and knowledge exchange. It is located about 0.2 Km from the Dubai Museum.

- Falcon Oasis Floating Restaurant: 
Located about 0.2 Km from the Dubai Museum the restaurant serves Indian, Italian, Chinese and local cuisines for dinner.

What are the operating days and timings of Dubai Museum?

Dubai Museum remains open from Saturday to Thursday between 8:30 AM-8:30 PM. On Fridays, it remains open between 2:30 PM- 8:30 PM. During Ramadan, the museum remains open on Sunday-Thursday between 10:00AM-5: 00 PM.

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