Dubai is a city of rich culture and astonishing architectural marvels, and no one can deny this fact. Although the city has presented its “larger than life” side with cloud-busting skyscrapers and a royal lifestyle in recent years, the heart of Dubai lies in its cultural heritage. One way to learn about the city’s traditions and history is to explore the Dubai Museum, which still preserves Dubai’s legacy. A visit to the museum unravels the Emirate’s hidden secrets behind the rapid economic development that led to a prosperous city. Read this article to get insights into what this place has to offer.
Dubai Museum Facts
- Set inside the Al Fahidi Fort of Bur Dubai, Dubai Museum was built in 1787 and was used by the Ruler of that time as a home, prison, garrison, and an arms depot back then. During his reign in 1971, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum restored the Al Fahidi Fort and transformed it into a museum to preserve rich Arab history.
- The oldest of its kind, the museum exhibits the traditional lifestyle of tribes people back then. The area around this iconic landmark has traditional buildings, wind towers, and courtyards renovated to preserve Arabic history.
- The museum offers a glimpse into the forgotten era of Emirates and takes you back in time to oil exploration in the 1960s. The exhibits in the museum elaborate on the city’s transformation after the free-trade agreement favored Dubai’s economy.
- The museum showcases life-size dioramas of merchants, animal figures, ancient trading practices such as pearl diving, and much more. One can observe well-preserved artifacts here dating back to 3000 BC.
Dubai Museum Highlights
The Monuments wing
This zone showcases ancient tombs, weapons, hand-made utensils, and many other items used by the people of that time. Besides these, you will also find arms they used to defend themselves from the invaders and transport facilities for goods supply in ancient times.
The wing of Dubai
The wing of Dubai not only displays the life of tradespersons of that time, but it also conveys a picture of their contribution in making Dubai the most modern city of today. The artifacts and displays are well-presented in this display and express the authentic culture of Arabs. A little glimpse into this market will show you how vendors used to sell their merchandise to the Bedouins back in the 1950s.
Old Dubai fortification Wing:
This wing showcases a wide array of weapons, including swords, bows and arrows, pistols, spears, and shields used by the rulers and their troops to protect the city from invaders and robbers.
Oasis Wing and Sea Exhibit:
Oasis Wing displays the desert life of Arabs, and it also gives a better understanding of how the wildlife in the desert has helped the Bedouin in covering long distances of the Arabian Desert. The sea exhibits pearl diving as an excellent occupation of the bygone era and how the fishing industry and marine resources have contributed to the evolution of modern Dubai. Apart from these, a section is dedicated to the musical instruments, including drums, bagpipes, and lyres that Bedouin used for entertaining in the bygone era.
Markets Dating back to the 1950s:
No wonder Dubai souks are popular worldwide for their quality of products and affordable prices. Although the heritage of Dubai’s ancient markets is maintained till today, the charm and aura of Emirates’ traditional markets are different. The Dubai Museum has a separate section displaying a full-size market and merchants buying and selling merchandise.
Other Wings and exhibits:
Besides the rare paintings and antiques the museum wings showcase, a courtyard depicts a traditional dhow, a typical Arab boat used by the sailors in ancient times. You will also find some original drawings, distinctive Arab homes, date farms, authentic jewelry, and objects spread across the museum’s wings.
Also discover archeological findings from knives to pots and read about Al Qusais Tombs and Umm Suqeim Mound here. Don’t forget to pick a souvenir from the souvenir shop before you head back to home.
How To reach there:
You can use public transport to commute to the Dubai Museum. Hop on to the metro or bus from the Al Ghubaiba or Al Fahidi stations; the museum is within walking distance. Taxis offer convenient transport, but only a limited number of visitor parking slots are available if you choose to drive your vehicle.
All you need to know:
Timing: Dubai Museum is open from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm from Saturday to Thursday and 2:30 to 8:30 on Fridays.
Entry tickets for adult visitors cost AED 3 and AED 1 for children under 6.
Dubai has always been known for its traditional architecture and rich cultural heritage. However, with the modernization of Dubai in recent years, the city has managed to maintain its legacy by restoring the old buildings and forts and converting them into museums for future generations. From antiques, historical drawings, and artifacts to dioramas that boast the life of traditional Bedouin people, the Dubai Museum serves as a bridge between the past and present of Dubai. If you are in Dubai and want insight into the Emirates customs and traditions, you must visit the Dubai Museum.