6 Museums You Absolutely Need To Tick Off Your List
It's a great way to explore the culture of the city
While Dubai is known for its stunning skyline, beautiful hotels and its top class shopping malls, there's a culturally-rich side to it as well. There are several sites around the city that allow residents and tourists to learn more about Emirati heritage and values. Some of them are its museums.
1. Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort (04 353 1862)
Built around 200 years ago, it was originally the premises of the monarch and a fort of defence, but later it was turned into an arsenal for artillery and weapons. Located at the South of Dubai Creek, the venue was then renovated, during the reign of the late His High Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and turned into a museum in 1971 (the year the UAE was formed). There was an underground museum added to the fort in 1995. Visitors will see antique monuments such as pottery, tombs and weapons, as well as a representation of life in the early days. Entry is at AED 3 for adults and AED 1 for children under the age of 6.
2. Coin Museum (04 392 0093)
Built of coral, stone, plaster and leaves of palm trees and teak wood, the two-storey museum displays more than 470 rare coins belonging to different historical eras. Special display cabinets and magnifying screens give visitors a better view of the coins, while electronic drop-down lists provide all the information required. Admission to the museum is free.
3. Camel Museum (04 515 5377)
Built in the 1940s, this was originally called the 'camel riding house'. The structure consists of a large interior courtyard facing several rooms and halls. The venue was initially used to train camels and horses and serve as a stall barn for them, but has now been turned into a museum where visitors get as much information as possible on camels of the Arabian Peninsula. There are prototypes, models and tools to provide information on everything ranging from their features, characteristics, anatomy, its meat and milk. Entry is free or charge.
4. Traditional Architecture Museum (04 392 0093)
Located on the banks of Dubai Creek, the museum is within a house (owned by Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum Al Maktoum) that was built in 1928. The house is a great reflection of traditional architecture with the use of local materials including coral, plaster and fronds of palm trees. Visitors get to understand architecture in the UAE and how it was in line with the values and needs of the citizens while keeping the scarcity of resources in mind. There is no admission fee.
5. Naif Museum (04 227 6484)
In the heart of the city, this Deira museum (a wing of the first police station in Dubai) gives visitors an insight into the history of the police and security services in the emirate. The two showrooms showcase how uniforms changed from traditional to more modern ones, as well as medals and badges of different police ranks and weapons used by them since their formation in 1956 to now. Admission is free of charge and you can get a guided tour for free too.
6. Coffee Museum (04 353 8777)
From Ethiopian Highlands to the Arabian region, discover the journey of coffee over the years at this museum in the heritage hub of Al Fahidi. Sit back in a laidback environment that merges traditional and oriental architecture and learn more about roasting and brewing, as well as the different styles of coffee. There's a museum shop too where you can buy a range of products - be it barista equipment or recipe books.