Wondering what are the best museums in Dubai? You’re in the right place, because yeah, there’s tons of history in the city besides its futuristic looks and world-record landmarks!
What comes to mind when you first think of Dubai? I bet high skyscrapers, desert dunes, fancy beach resorts and international fashion brands are the dominant images. But what about museums?
True, it’s not exactly what Dubai is best known for, but despite being a city focused on the future, Dubai has a really interesting history, culture and traditions, and exploring this rich culture is one of the best things you can do in Dubai.
Dubai is also home to many museums that illustrate and educate their visitors on the most varied topics, from the country’s religion to the way they lived before oil was discovered.
And while usually museums are a great option for rainy days…well, Dubai doesn’t have that problem! But visiting museums is a good alternative to escape the heat in summer in Dubai.
Here you’ll find a list of the best Dubai museums; where they are, their opening hours and what they have on display. Check them out!
Museums in Dubai Not To Miss
Etihad Museum Dubai
If you’re interested in the history of the UAE, the foundation of the country and how it has developed since, head to the Etihad Museum, located on the very site where, in 1971, the formation of the UAE was signed.
At the museum, you’ll find photographs, videos and interactive displays depicting the country’s social, cultural and military heritage, as well as artifacts from the founding fathers.
The museum also hosts a library filled with photography books you can check out, a garden and a cafe where you can relax after your visit with a camel milk ice cream. ➥ GET YOUR ETIHAD MUSEUM TICKETS HERE
READ ALSO: Etihad Museum, Dubai: A Complete Guide
Etihad Museum: 1 Jumeirah Street, Al Mina. Opening Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 8 PM. Entrance Fee: AED 25 (USD 7) for adults; free for children at the time of writing.
Museum of the Future
The newly opened Museum of the Future in Dubai is well-known for its futuristic structure and the future-themed exhibitions that it has displayed, showcasing topics such as climate change, AI, machines, and cutting-edge technology.
The museum features seven floors dedicated to different, interactive experiences. The immersive exhibitions focus on the various possible futures of our planet, and you can take a virtual trip to outer space, as well as learn about the health, ecosystems, bioengineering, and resource developments of the year 2071.
The museum is family-friendly, with an entire floor dedicated to inspiring and educating children. ➥ GET YOUR TICKETS HERE AND SKIP THE LINE
Museum of the Future: Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Center, Madinat Jumeirah. Opening Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Entrance Fee: AED 145 (39.5 USD) for adults.
Museum of Illusions Dubai
The family-friendly Museum of Illusions located in the charming area of Al Seef offers a vast array of optical-illusion activities, brain teasers and original puzzles that will keep you and your children entertained for quite a long time.
The museum presents a unique visual and sensory experience to challenge your creativity and blow your mind, playing with perspective, flaws in our vision and the way our mind works.
If you’re not one to enjoy conventional museums, you will not regret visiting this one. ➥ GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
Museum of Illusions: Al Seef, Dubai Creek Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 10 AM to 10 PM. Friday & Saturday open until 11 PM.
Entrance Fee: AED 80 (USD 22) for adults; AED 60 (USD 16) for children.
READ ALSO: Museum of Illusions, Dubai: Tickets & Tips
Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort
The Dubai Museum is probably the most popular in the city, and if you can only visit one of the Dubai museums to learn about the history of the country, this is probably the best option together with the Muzeum of the Future.
Situated within the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in the city, the Dubai Museum offers an insight into the culture and heritage of the UAE, and depicts the way of life of the Emirate before oil was discovered.
You’ll also find artifacts from Asian and African countries that traded with Dubai and others recently discovered that date as back as the 3000 BC.
Visiting the Dubai Museum is a great opportunity to view the modern metropolis through the eyes of history, and appreciate how far the city has come. ➥ GET YOUR DUBAI MUSEUM TICKETS HERE
Dubai Museum: Al Fahidi Fort, Al Fahidi Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8.30 AM to 8.30 PM. Friday & Saturday 2.30 PM to 8.30 PM.
Entrance Fee: AED 3 (less than a dollar) for adults, AED 1 for children.
Coffee Museum Dubai
Coffee lovers and connoisseurs should definitely add the Coffee Museum to their list.
Not only will you learn about the history of coffee and the various types that exist, but you’ll also get to see a demonstration of the different brewing styles, sample coffee from different countries and check out the many books that talk about coffee in the library.
As a plus, you can buy coffee, books and accessories at the Museum Shop.
If you’re interested in learning more about this part of the city (Al Fahidi and the historical area) – and you should! – check out this great tour that also includes the Coffee Museum. ➥ CHECK IT OUT HERE
Coffee Museum: Historical Neighborhood, Bastakiya, Villa 44, Alhisn Street, Al Fahidi Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 9 AM to 5 PM. Entrance Fee: 10 AED (USD 3 approximately at the time of writing).
House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum
The House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum is the former residence of the longest ruler of Dubai, Saeed Al Maktoum, who served between 1912 until his death in 1958.
The historic building has been turned into a museum that displays artifacts, images and paintings of the city’s past and the life of the ruling family, as well as historic documents, pictures of the Old Town, coins, stamps and jewelry.
The museum provides a glimpse into the lives of the royals and citizens of Dubai back in the day, and the building itself is worth the visit. Since it’s close to many attractions in Al Fahidi you can include it in your visit to the area.
An interesting fact is that Saeed Al Maktoum, the former ruler who resided in the building, was the grandfather of the current Prime Minister of UAE.
House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum: 779R+72F, Al Fahidi Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8 AM to 8.30 PM. Friday 3 PM to 8.30 PM. Entrance Fee: Free
The Dubai Heritage Village
Gain deeper knowledge of Dubai’s traditional culture and lifestyle with a visit to the Dubai Heritage Village. The best way to learn about a place’s history is actually stepping back in time, and that’s what this living museum proposes.
You’ll walk around a reconstructed village that shows the culture and lifestyle of Dubai’s original inhabitants. You’ll get to see the architecture, ancient armory and cooking utensils, and also learn about the Emirate’s maritime history and all about the pearl diving era.
A tented Bedouin village is probably the main attraction in the museum.
Dubai Heritage Village: Shindagha, Al Minda Road, Bur Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi. Opening Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 8 AM to 8 PM. Friday 3 PM to 10 PM. Entrance Fee: Free.
Oli Oli Dubai
Oli Oli is the Emirates’ first interactive museum aimed at children, so it’s one of the best choices if you’re traveling with kids.
At the museum, the children will learn through interactive exhibits and they’ll also get to play in climbing nets and explore the world of physics, engineering or chemistry playing in the different galleries.
Among other activities they’ll see their artwork come to life in interactive screens, build airplanes and rockets and learn what makes them take off, build a fort or play in the (fake) rain.
The museum is a fantastic place to visit, and it is home to a cafe where parents can get a coffee or pastry while their kids play. ➥ GET YOUR TICKETS HERE & SKIP THE LINE
Oli Oli: 62 4 A Street, Al Quoz, Al Quoz 1. Opening Hours: Daily 9 AM to 7 PM. Entrance Fee: AED 126 (USD 34) for children aged 2-16, one parent gets in free with child admission. AED 42 (around USD 11) for an extra parent/adult, and AED 63 (USD 17) for children under 2. All admissions are for 2 hours.
Al Shindagha Museum
Situated right by the creek, Al Shindagha Museum was developed to tell the vibrant history of Dubai, telling the story of innovation, resilience and desire for progress that transformed the city of Old Dubai that you can witness at the Heritage Village into what Dubai is today.
The museum highlights Dubai’s heritage, culture and origins and it focuses on how the Emirati culture connects with that of the region and wider world. The story is told through many multimedia and immersive exhibits. ➥ GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
Al Shindagha Museum: Dubai Creek, Al Shindagha, Dubai. Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday from 10 AM to 8 PM. Entrance Fee: AED 33 (USD 9).
Foundry Downtown Dubai
Art lovers will adore this progressive, modern art museum in Dubai that reflects the evolving and ever-changing cultural scene in the UAE.
Foundry Downtown Dubai features some of the best art galleries in Dubai but its focus is also on the modern, progressive art forms that include a podcast room, a library and co-working environment and a cafe. There are also exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and talks throughout the year.
Foundry Downtown: Boulevard Crescent, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 10 PM. Entrance Fee: Free
3D World Selfie Museum Dubai
The 3D Selfie Museum is a must for young travelers and photography fans. The building is home to a huge collection of 3D art pieces located in 9 different zones where you can pose and get one-of-a-kind pictures of yourself.
From escaping the jaws of a crocodile in the Water zone to petting a giraffe in the Jungle or discovering an Egyptian treasure, you’ll be able to record the most fantastic adventures. ➥ GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
3D World Selfie Museum: Behind Mashreq Bank, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz 4 Opening Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 8 PM. Entrance Fee: AED 79 (USD 22) for adults, AED 59 (USD 16) for children at the time of writing.
Jameel Arts Center
Located on the stunning Jaddaf Waterfront, the Jameel Arts Center is a hub for contemporary art where you’ll find rotating exhibitions of both emerging and established artists, a series of seven designed gardens that represent a distinct desert environment and a sculpture park.
This art museum in Dubai aims at engaging communities through learning and research and strives to have a collaborative, dynamic approach and to become a leading institution in contemporary art.
Jameel Arts Center: Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai. Opening Hours: Saturday to Monday & Wednesday from 10 AM to 6 PM; Thursday & Friday 12 PM to 8 PM.
Entrance Fee: Free.
Another great interactive and educational space for kids, Children’s City welcomes families and school groups to enjoy daily educational activities, workshops, galleries, entertainment programs and theater plays.
The staff will keep children engaged in the activities every minute of their visit, and in the process of playing they’ll get to learn about the customs in different countries and regions, the animals that live in the UAE, the human body, science and all about the galaxies when visiting the planetarium.
As an alternative, the Sharjah Dubai Science Museum is also a great space for children to discover science through interactive exhibits.
Children’s City: Umm Hurair 2, Dubai.
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 9 AM to 7 PM. Friday & Saturday from 2 PM to 8 PM.
Entrance Fee: AED 15 (USD 4) for adults; AED 10 (almost USD 3) for children. There are family tickets (2 adults + 2 children) for AED 40 (USD 11) at the time of writing.
Dubai Museums FAQ
The Dubai Museum, located in Al Fahidi Fort, is the main museum in the city.
There are 17 museums in Dubai
The entrance fee is AED 3 (less than a dollar) for adults, and AED 1 for children under 6 at the time of writing.
All over the exterior of the museum there are written quotes from the Prime Minister of UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, about the future. They are written in Arabic calligraphy.
Al Fahidi Fort is Dubai’s oldest building, and it was built in 1787.
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