15 Best Museums in Dubai - 2020 (With Photos & Reviews)
Museums in Dubai mirror the rich Arabic heritage and culture that the city is deeply seeped in since its birth. These museums, are the best way to let visitors see what Dubai initially was- a nomadic trading and fishing village, established in the 17th-century and how the ancient traditions and culture shaped the city and made it what it is today- a symbol of 21st-century futuristic aspirations, leadership, unity, and a melting pot of cultures.

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We are not talking about the drab and boring places that museums are assumed to be. The Dubai museums are interactive, educational, and fun for both adults and children alike. They range from the traditional- that showcase the city’s 3000-year-old history & archaeology, political evolution, policing system, pearling industry through stunning visual presentations to the quirky ones dedicated to a beverage i.e. coffee. Here is a handpicked list of the most interesting Dubai museums that are sure to make you appreciate this iconic city better and leave you with a richer cultural experience.

Here is the list of best Museums in Dubai:

01

Dubai Museum

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Dubai Museum
A visit to The Dubai Museum takes you back 3,000 years to tell you the story of the small fishing village that the city initially was. The rustic building is divided into thematic areas like coastal, desert, and mountain showcasing rare drawings of the 17-century architecture, pottery, weapons, ship & boat construction equipment, bamboo houses of the Bedouins, and scenes from the 1950s marketplaces, the museum converts ancient history into a rich 3- dimensional visual treat.

The building housing the museum has an equally fascinating past. The Al Fahidi Fort, built-in 1787, was the monarch’s house and was used as a prison.

Location: Opposite Grand Mosque, Al Fahidi Street, Dubai.

Timings: Saturday-Thursday: 8:30 am- 8:30 pm, Fridays: 2:30 pm- 8:30 pm.
               During Ramadan: Sunday- Thursday: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm

Entry Fee: Adults: AED 3 (INR 56), Children below 6 years AED 1 (INR 19)

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02

Etihad Museum

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Etihad Museum
The Etihad Museum chronicles the history of how the political foundations of UAE were laid by its seven founding fathers. The building’s architecture mirrors the constitution’s manuscript. Inside, there are seven golden pillars that depict the pens that were used to sign the Union Agreement.

The huge halls in this museum in Dubai showcase historical phases like the oil discovery, opening up of trade, personal belongings of the ruling families through photographs and 3-dimensional films. There is a library, theatre, and a recreational space inside the museum for interactive sessions.

Location: 1 Jumeirah Street, Dubai.

Timings: Everyday 10:00 am- 8:00 pm.
               Ramadan Timings: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, except Friday.
               Guided tours: Everyday: 12:00 pm & 5:00 pm.

Entry Fee: Adults: 25 AED (INR 470), Students: 10 AED (INR 190), Groups: 20 AED (INR 380), children’s entry is free.

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03

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House

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Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
Built-in 1896, this house of the former ruler Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum was converted into a museum in the 1970s. Through the artefacts depicting the life of the monarch family, visitors can see glimpses of the evolution of Dubai at this popular museum in Dubai.

There is a huge collection of coins, stamps, jewellery, documents, and photographs. The building’s architecture is as strikingly simple but majestic as the lives of its past royal inhabitants. 

Location: House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House, along the Dubai creek

Timings: 8:00 am- 8:30 pm on all days, except Friday: 3:00 pm- 8:30 pm

Entry Fee: AED 6 (INR 115), Children below 6 years AED 1 (INR 20)

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04

Coffee Museum

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Coffee Museum
Coffee has symbolised friendship and hospitality since centuries in the UAE. A step inside this museum of Dubai, the only one dedicated to coffee in the Middle East, and you are enveloped in the heady fragrance of coffee. It showcases a huge variety of coffee from around the world and their brewing processes.

Other exhibits include a human-size grinder belonging to an 18th-century British monarch, over 600-year-old roasters & grinders, and ancient cups & pots. There is a library, a coffee shop selling hundreds of verities of the beans, and a gift shop selling coffee jewellery!

Location: Villa 44, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bastakiya, Dubai. 

Timings: Everyday 9:am- 5;00 pm.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee.

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05

Women's Museum - Bait Al Banat

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Women's Museum - Bait Al Banat
Women have played an intrinsic part in shaping the UAE by being at the forefront of politics, education, arts, and humanitarian work. A visit to this museum of Dubai, built in the 1950s and originally a private house lets you see the shaping of the Emirati society through the contributions of its womenfolk.

It exhibits traditional jewellery, textiles, and life-size photographs of artworks and writings. There is a gift shop where you can pick up traditional attars, souvenirs, and other knick-knacks. 

Location: Al Sabkha, Gold Souk, Near Al Khor Street, Dubai.

Timings: Saturday- Thursday: 10:00 am- 7:00 pm.

Entry Fee: AED 20 per person (INR 380)

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06

Antique Museum

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Antique Museum
More than a museum in Dubai, this is a huge antique bazaar where you can admire traditional Emirati handicrafts and artworks. Traversing through the narrow maze-like walkways, which only add to the atmosphere, you can buy traditional jewellery, furniture, attars, dresses, sand artworks, textiles, spices, herbs, oils, etc.

 The shopkeepers are friendly and donate a part of their purchases to charities. The bazaar also has shops that sell traditional Middle Eastern dishes and drinks, which are a must-try.

Location: 19 12 B Street Al Quoz Industrial Area, Dubai.

Timings: Daily 9:00 am- 8:30 pm

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to this Dubai museum

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07

Museum of Illusions

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Museum of Illusions
 Be sure to have the most spectacular mind-boggling experience that will challenge all your senses at this museum.  The illusions, designed using scientific techniques, are divided into three categories- Master, Grand, and Optical illusions. These include turntables, rotational rooms, holograms, stereograms, chair illusions, vortex tunnels, anti-gravity room, clone tables, etc.

You can pick up 3-D dilemma games, lightning globes, and souvenirs from the museum gift shop. A visit to this Dubai museum should not be missed.

Location: Al Seef by Meeras, Phase-3, Lot 17-1, Bur Dubai

Timings: Sunday to Saturday: 10:00 am- 12:00 am

Entry Fee: Adults AED 80 (INR 1515), Children between 5-15 years AED 60 (INR 1140), Family of 2 adults & 2 children AED 225 (INR 4200)

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08

Al Bastakiya

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Al Bastakiya
A visit to Al Bastakiya means sharing the same walking space as the Bedouins who roamed the streets when Dubai was a sleepy trading junction. A small boat will take you to this oldest area of the city where you will walk in beautiful alleys and see houses made of coral and mud.

You will see traditional wind towers that were used as cooling systems centuries ago. You should not miss eating a date cake, Arabic tea (over 150 varieties), and a middle-eastern meal at the charming cafes strewn over the village. This living museum in Dubai is a definite must-visit.

Location: Al Fahidi Historical District, Dubai.

Timings: Every day 9:00- 6:00 pm

Entry Fee: 3 AED (INR 56) for adults and 1 AED (INR 19) for children under 6 years

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09

Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum

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Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum
The architecture of this museum of Dubai is as enthralling as the artefacts that are displayed. Housed in the residence of Sheikh Juma Bin Makhtoum Al Makhtoum, the museum brings alive an Iron Age excavation site through 3-dimensional technology!

All efforts have been made to make the visitors experience as dynamic as possible by the use of interactive screens, digital puzzles, and workshops to let you create your own clay pots. Other artefacts include fossilized bones, iron & olive wood equipment, and beads. 

Location: Al Shindagha- 311, Dubai. 

Timings: Every day 8:00 am- 8:00 pm.

Entry Fee: Adults AED 20 (INR 380), Children 7-12 years AED 10 (INR 190)

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10

Museum of the Future

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Museum of the Future
Trust Dubai to always surprise you with its architecture that surpasses everybody’s imagination! Ever heard of a museum winning awards even before it is opened? With a building looking like a giant eye, which is actually a torus inscribed with calligraphy. Amongst many other mind-boggling features, one is that the whole structure is one single system. 

Calling this a museum in Dubai will not justify its purpose. It is more an incubator of technologies and innovations that are going to shape the world and meet future challenges of automation, climate change, and wellness. Currently, it holds only exhibitions and will be open to the public in 2020. All the planned displays will be interactive for letting the visitors contribute to the process of change. 


Location: 5th Floor, Emirates Towers, Dubai. 


Timings: Sunday - Wednesday at 10:00 am - 10:00 pm.

Entry Fee: Adults AED 80, Children between 5-15 years AED 60

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11

Naif Museum

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Naif Museum
Image Credit : Naif museum
This is a very interesting museum of Dubai for people who are interested in seeing the evolution of the world-famous security system of Dubai i.e. its police force. Located inside an ancient fort, which was the city’s first prison and police headquarters, it showcases centuries-old police uniforms, weapons, medals, documents, and even reconstructs the atmosphere of a jail!

Location: Naif Area, Dera, Dubai.

Timings: Sunday- Thursday: 8:00 am- 2:00 pm, Friday and Saturday closed.
                Ramadan timings: Sunday- Thursday: 9:00 am- 2:00 pm, Friday and Saturday closed.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee

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12

Pearl Museum

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Pearl Museum
Symbiotic to the history of Dubai as a pearl farming village, this museum in Dubai houses some of the rarest pearls in the world. Not only does it displays these dazzling beads and fine jewellery, but it also pays an ode to the people who have driven this trade- the divers and the sailors.

It showcases the traditional boats (dhows), diving equipment, and the musical instruments that every boat was equipped with. Here, you can learn how to study pearls. 

Location: 15th floor, Emirates NDB office, Deira, Next to Imperial Hotel Apartment.

Timings: Everyday 9:00 am- 5:00 pm.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for this Dubai museum. The entry is only by appointment after permission from NBD

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13

Dubai Moving Image Museum/ History of Cinema Museum

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Dubai Moving Image Museum/ History of Cinema Museum
Imagine seeing a film on a 17th-century Dutch peep box viewer and rotating the cinema reels to see the images comes to life! This is the fantastic experience that cinema buffs get at the History of Cinema Museum.

Originally a private collection, it is dedicated to the evolution of moving pictures and the equipment used to shoot & view them right from the time of silent films era till the 3-dimensional and virtual reality technologies that have become common today. A quaint gift box lets you pick up film memorabilia’s and miniature cameras. 

Location: MCN Hive, 1st floor, TECOM C, Near Ramee Rose Hotel, Dubai.

Timings: Every day except Friday from 11:00 am- 6:00 pm.

Entry Fee: Adults AED 50 (INR 950), Children below 18 years AED 25 (INR 470)

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14

Hatta Heritage Village

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Hatta Heritage Village
Lying on the border of Oman, The Hatta Heritage Village is an original site that has been restored to give the visitors a glimpse into the magnificent 16th-century Middle-eastern village architecture. Housed in an ancient fort, the village has two watchtowers, a two-century-old mosque, and mud houses.

The fort also has displays of traditional jewellery, clothing, pottery, and ammunition belonging to the Hatta tribes. 

Location: The village is located at Hatta, around 100 kilometres from the city. 

Timings: Saturday- Thursday: 7:30 am- 8:30 pm, Friday: 2:30 pm- 8:30 pm

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee
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15

Coin Museum

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Coin Museum
The Coin Museum houses a huge collection of over 470 types of rare coins and paper notes that have been used in Dubai over the centuries. This assortment even features rare Arab Sasanian currency used during the Caliphate period of 632 AD.

There are digital displays at this popular museum in Dubai that tell visitors about the coins, their period of usage and translate the Arabic inscriptions. 

Location: Al Shindagah area- Bur Dubai.

Timings: Sunday- Thursday: 8:00 am- 2:00 pm, Friday and Saturday closed.
               Ramadan timings: Sunday- Thursday: 9:00 am- 2:00 pm, Friday and Saturday closed.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for this Dubai museum

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