Planning on visiting the Etihad Museum in Dubai soon? Check out this guide with all the information you need to prepare for your visit and know what to expect.
In the last few years, Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates have been making the headlines more and more often, usually thanks to their larger-than-life projects, astoundingly modern architecture, fantastic exhibitions, and new world records (largest, tallest, greatest something).
But how did all this come to be? Opened in 2017, Dubai’s Etihad Museum recounts the path and milestones leading up to the signing of the agreement that gave birth to the UAE, and how the country has developed through the years.
In my opinion, visiting this museum is one of the best things to do in Dubai to understand its history and culture – and it provides a sweet respite from the heat if you’re spending the summer in Dubai.
In fact, the museum is located on the exact same site where the 7 founding fathers (the rulers of the 7 Arab Emirates) came together to agree on and sign the constitution that would mark the beginning of the UAE as a state. Etihad is the Arabic word for “union”.
Spread over 25,000 sqm, the Etihad Museum impresses not only with its modern, interactive and highly engaging exhibitions but also with its beautiful architecture, deeply intertwined with the history that took place on that same site some decades ago.
Before Visiting the Etihad Museum, Dubai
At the time of writing, the Etihad Museum is open daily from 10 AM until 8 PM. The last entry is at 7 PM, but try to get there early, at least 2 hours in advance to be able to enjoy it fully.
How to get to the Etihad Museum
The Etihad Museum is located in Jumeirah, at the very start of Jumeirah Beach Road. This is the same place where the UAE was founded in 1971.
You can get there by metro, bus, or taxi.
▶️ Metro: The closest metro station to the Etihad Museum is Al Jafaliya, on the Dubai Metro red line. This station is 2.8 km from the museum, approximately a 35-minute walk. You can also take bus X28 from outside the metro station, and it will drop you off 350 meters away from the museum. The easiest option, however, is to take a taxi from the metro station.
▶️ Bus: The buses that will drop you off closest to the Etihad Museum are lines 8, C10, X28 (5-minute walk), C9 (7-minute walk), 7, 12, and X13 (10-minute walk).
▶️ Taxi: Taking a taxi is the easiest (albeit the most expensive) way to reach the museum. If you choose this option, ask the driver to drop you off at Union House. The museum is fairly new and not too many people are aware of it. You can also use apps such as Uber and Careem to order a taxi.
Etihad Museum Tickets
There is no shortage of museums in Dubai, and the Etihad Museum is the best option to learn about the recent history of Duba.
However, if you want to go to the very place where the city was born, then you also need to head to Al Shindagha Museum, in the iconic Dubai Creek area (and while you’re there, also make sure to check out Al Seef and the Dubai Gold Souk in Deira).
➤ This cool combo pack will give you tickets for Al Shindagha Museum & Etihad Museum with skip-the-line access not only to the Etihad Museum and its eight pavilions but also to the Al Shindagha Museum. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
What to Expect when Visiting the Etihad Museum
The Etihad Museum chronicles the contemporary story of how the UAE came to be, especially after the discovery of oil in 1950 and the withdrawal of the British in 1968.
As most things in Dubai, expect a strikingly modern structure and an elegant design, with a curved white roof inspired by the shape of the constitution and seven columns that represent the pens with which the agreement for the establishment of the state was signed.
The story of the country is told through a series of interactive pavilions that contain photographs, artifacts, 3D documentary films, and interactive displays.
On top of these permanent exhibitions, there are also temporary ones, plus a library, a theatre, an interactive timeline, and a recreational space for visitors. Check the museum’s website to see if there are any temporary exhibitions during your intended time of visit.
The Museum is connected to the Union House, where the UAE’s 7 founding fathers conducted the negotiations for the creation of the state. Free tours of the Union House are available every day.
READ ALSO: 13 Best Museums in Dubai
Tips for Visiting the Etihad Museum
- The museum has no official website to buy the tickets, so you’ll have to either get them in person or you can buy them online here.
- Weekends may be crowded. Go there during the week to have more room for yourself! When we visited on a weekday in the morning, it was just us and a couple of other people.
- If you want to check it out before going, or if you don’t have enough time to visit but are interested in the history of Dubai, Dubai Culture offers Etihad Museum Virtual Tours.
Etihad Museum FAQ
Inside the museum, you’ll find pavilions and galleries with permanent exhibitions depicting the story of the country since its independence in 1971, when the constitution was signed. You’ll also find a library, an education center, a temporary exhibition hall, and a restaurant.
The curved white roof of the Etihad Museum was designed by Canadian architects Moriyama and Teshima, and resembles the sheet of paper where the constitution was written and signed in that very location, an agreement that marked the birth of the UAE.
The Etihad Museum is open every day from 10 AM until 8 PM.
You don’t need to book in advance to access, but you can certainly do so. You can get Etihad Museum tickets online and skip the lines when you visit.
At the time of writing, the Etihad Museum ticket price is 25 AED (6.8 USD) for adults and 10 AED (2.7 USD) for students. Entrance is free for children.