Dubai Museum is definitely a must see attraction in Dubai. Located at the historical Al Fahidi Fort near the Dubai Creek, the museum houses numerous relics and galleries that provide an informative introduction to the city’s rich cultural heritage.
The Al Fahidi Fort itself, which houses the museum, is one of the city’s oldest and most important links to the past. It was built in 1787 to fortify the Dubai Creek’s defense against invasion. Prior to becoming the site of one of Dubai’s most popular tourist attractions, the Al Fahidi Fort served as the seat of administrative power and a prison. Finally, it was modified into a museum in 1970. Visitors believe that the fort is the longest standing architectural edifice in Dubai today. The fort has three main internal halls that serve as the main gate, the ticket office, and the display area of old weapons, respectively.
Old maps and photographs of the Emirates welcome visitors upon entering the first gallery. These images aim to present the traditional way of life of the Emirates, and to show how they have changed through the years. Next are the collections of traditional musical instruments, khanjars, and various types of weapons. The museum also showcases various artifacts such as weapons, coins and pottery from different African and Asian countries. These artifacts demonstrate the commercial relationship that Dubai has shared with these nations even before the production of oil.
The galleries and displays do not disappoint as visitors are transported to the past through life size dioramas and audio visual presentations that engage even the interest of young children. Visitors of the diorama section will first find themselves amongst the merchants and craftsmen in a realistic replica of the souks before the oil era. Following the realistic displays, visitors will be led to different sections including the desert, the astronomy room, the trades in Dubai Creek, and the sea. The largest diorama features sea creatures, nautical tools and different types of sailboats.
The last diorama in the exhibit depicts the 3000 year old archaeological site in Al Qusais. This scene features a complete excavation site, including model skeletons, excavation tools, and archaeologists at work. The gallery next to it is the Archaeology section which displays the artifacts which were unearthed in various excavation sites around Dubai.
Before leaving the museum through the southern exit, guests will pass by a gift shop where they will find souvenirs for sale. The gift shop sells products made by local craftsmen. The museum is open at 8:30am-8:30pm from Saturdays through Thursdays, and at 2:30-8:30pm on Fridays. For only 3AED per person, visitors can explore the whole of Dubai in a short period of time.
Since it is located next to the museum, visitors can conveniently visit the Narish Khyma after finishing the museum tour. There, they will enjoy the display of cannons and cannon balls, ancient houses and boats that were used to traverse the Dubai Creek in the past. A visit to Dubai is not complete without a visit to Dubai Museum. Undoubtedly, learning about the city’s past will help travelers understand the Dubai culture and traditions of the present.