Dubai Museum

Photo by: James G. Howes, CC

Dubai Museum is Dubai’s oldest museum that is housed in Al Fahidi Fort tower. It was built in 1787, but was officially opened by Dubai’s ruler almost two centuries later with the main objective of showcasing the Emirati traditional lifestyle. The museum hosts local artifacts from some Asian and African countries that engaged in trade with Dubai. Additionally, there are artifacts from the latest discoveries that date back to 3000 BC. It is quite surprising to note that Dubai Museum receives over 600,000 visitors annually with a majority of them visiting during the popular times from August and April.

History of Dubai Museum

As mentioned earlier, Dubai museum is located at Al Fahidi Fort tower, a structure that is considered to be Dubai’s oldest tower. This building was erected in several phases with the main aim of guarding Dubai from raids by neighboring tribes. Also, it served as a palace to the ruler, a prison and a garrison. In 1971, the Fort was renovated for use as a museum.

Al Fahidi Fort

One of the most unique aspects of this fort is that it was built using mortar and coral rock. It is a terrific example of a desert fort complete with canons and battlements. It also has a beautiful courtyard.

The Galleries

The galleries recreate scenes from traditional Arab houses, the Creek, the souk, date farms and marine life. The galleries have a video room at the entrance that shows a video depicting Dubai from the early 1960’s up to today. The video describes Dubai before its breakthrough with oil.


One of the most spectacular exhibits in the museum portrays pearl diving and a collection of pearl merchant’s weights, sieves and scales. These give an insight to the early trade of pearls prior to the rich days of oil. Also on display is a great collection of artifacts obtained from several grave excavations. The majority of these artifacts were made out of alabaster, copper and mud.

Dubai museum is home to a military display of handcrafted weapons of war used during the ancient times. Such weapons include swords, curved daggers, shields made of shark skin and spears.

Visiting Hours

If you are planning to visit the Dubai Museum it is open from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM Saturday through Thursday and 2:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Fridays. One can spend the whole day at the museum because there are so many attractions that are offered. The museum does have different hours during Ramadan, so be sure to check the operating hours before visiting during this time of year.

Dubai Famous Landmarks

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