The Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, and the latest modern infrastructure and technologies are just a few of the things Dubai is known for. But what about its art, history and culture? These are certainly big parts of what makes Dubai so popular.

    You can learn about these deeper aspects of Dubai at its many museums and galleries. Their subject matter is diverse. One museum, for example, is dedicated to the history of women’s lives, while another explains how coffee from around the region is made. This list covers a broad range of what you can find in Dubai.


    Etihad Museum

    The site where the UAE was founded

    • Families

    The Etihad Museum educates visitors on the history of the United Arab Emirates. This museum fittingly sits on the spot where the UAE was founded in 1971. Visitors are encouraged to walk through the different pavilions to learn about the country.

    Each pavilion houses distinct exhibitions. From the Visitor’s Pavilion to the Union Tree Garden, areas offer insight regarding the history and current life of the UAE. Through artwork, interactive maps, and quotes from the founding fathers, visitors can follow the UAE’s history step by step.

    Location: 1 Jumeirah St-Al Mina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +971 8 003 3222


    Dubai Heritage Village

    Where the customs and cultures of the Emirates shine

    • Families

    Dubai Heritage Village, also known as Hatta Heritage Village, was created in 1997 and remains one of Dubai’s most popular tourist destinations. This village was preserved as a historical site and showcases the culture and history of the United Arab Emirates.

    Hatta Village includes a mosque, an old-world souk, and a camp from pre-modern UAE. Also inside this village are artisans making pottery, bubbling glass, and weaving fabrics for clothes. You can purchase traditional items as souvenirs, and a range of food is available to buy when you get hungry.

    Location: 3110233-Al Khaleej St., Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Saturday–Thursday from 7.30 am to 8.30 pm, Fridays from 12.30 pm to 8.30 pm

    Phone: +971 4 852 1374


    Infinity des Lumières

    'The Future of Art'

    • Families

    Infinity Des Lumières is quite distinct from many other art museums in that it brings technology into its exhibits including music, artificial intelligence and various visual displays.

    The goal of Infinity Des Lumières is to make each exhibit an immersive experience for visitors by revolutionising the way art is viewed. The museum has featured the works of artists including Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Klee and Antoni Gaudi. Visit the museum’s website for current exhibits. Infinity Des Lumières is conveniently located in Dubai Mall.

    Location: Financial Center Road, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Mall, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, Friday–Sunday from 10 am to 11 pm


    Museum of Illusions

    A museum filled with optical illusions and tricks for your mind

    • Families

    Many museums go to great lengths to describe, explain and sometimes demonstrate what they show. The Museum of Illusions Dubai, though, attempts to keep you off balance, questioning what you see and feel. The museum has more than 60 exhibits that bend or distort what you see and upend your sense of equilibrium.

    Black-and-white striped concentric circles in the Turntables exhibit might make you believe you’re entering Rod Serling’s 'Twilight Zone'. Watch your companion grow dramatically taller – or shorter – in the Ames room. At the Clone Table, play a game of cards with six versions of yourself.

    Location: Bid. 17, Heritage Area, Al Seef, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, Friday–Sunday from 10 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +971 4 357 3999



    The ultimate children’s museum

    • Families

    The Oli Oli is an ideal place to bring your little ones. In eight galleries stretched across two floors, children have plentiful opportunities to play and experiment. All that exploring is sure to work up your child’s appetite, so have a treat at the La Petite Treehouse Café.

    There are more than 40 exhibits for children to explore. A water gallery, an air gallery and a room dedicated to toddlers are just a few of the areas for kids to enjoy. Stop by the Future Park exhibit, where youngsters can learn about how technology will change the world.

    Location: 62 4 A St, Al Quoza, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm, Friday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +971 4 702 7300


    House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum

    A piece of royal history in Dubai

    • Families

    This historical home built in 1896 served as the home of Sheikh Saeed, grandfather of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum. The building has been renovated several times throughout the years and now includes 30 rooms, four wind towers and three courtyards.

    Take the walking tour through this historical site to see antique photographs of the city and private photos of the royal family. View ornamented teak doors. Inspect coins and stamps. Go upstairs for an aerial view of Dubai Creek. Stop by the Perfume House to learn the history behind Emirati fragrances.

    Location: Al Fahidi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 8 am to 8.30 pm, Friday from 3 pm to 8.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 8.30 pm

    Phone: +971 8 003 3222


    Coins Museum

    Antique coins used in Dubai

    • Families

    The Coins Museum is nestled in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, a restored area depicting a previous era of the city. It contains some 470 rare coins used throughout different historical eras of the Middle East. It explains links between monetary systems of the former British empire, India, as well as other countries.

    Coins are housed in display cabinets that are equipped with magnifying screens, as well as touch-screens that reveal data about individual coins such as metal, images and date of minting. Each of the eight display rooms covers a different theme.

    Location: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 8 am to 3 pm, Friday from 8 am to 11.30 pm (closed Saturdays and Sundays)

    Phone: +971 4 392 0093


    Crossroad of Civilizations Museum

    The history of trade through Dubai

    • Families

    Located in the Shindagha Historic District of Dubai, the Crossroad of Civilizations Museum educates visitors on Dubai’s role in global trade between countries of the East and West. There are hundreds of historic artefacts from around the world traded between Dubai and countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.

    One of the most popular pieces is a bull-shaped vase that’s 7,500 years old. Themes of six galleries include religious artefacts, Islamic art, Middle Eastern royalty and local history. The latter includes examples of jewellery, weapons, coins and manuscripts.

    Location: 8 27a St-Deira, Al Ras, Dubai, United Aran Emirates

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm (closed Mondays and Sundays)

    Phone: +971 4 393 4416


    Bait Al Banat Women's Museum

    A museum dedicated to the history, life and achievements of women

    • Families

    The Women’s Museum at Bait Al Banat shines a light on women who were among the region’s biggest influencers, showing their contributions to society, academic and commercial achievements, and their art and literature. One gallery houses rotating exhibitions of the work of female artists from around the United Arab Emirates, while another space tells the story of renowned poet Ousha Bint Khalifa through writing, sound and images.

    The museum includes a women’s studies centre and a perfume and gift shop featuring Arabian fragrances blended using traditional spices and resins.

    Location: Al Sabkha, Gold Souq, Al Khor St, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Saturday–Thursday from 10 am to 5.30 pm (closed on Fridays)

    Phone: +971 4 234 2342


    Coffee Museum

    Exploring coffee styles from different regions

    • Families

    The Coffee Museum educates visitors on the historical importance of the brewed beverage in Arabic culture. Located in the historic Al Fahidi neighbourhood, the museum displays artefacts including a coffee grinder used during World War I and brewing pots used throughout history. Learn about the origin of coffee and the legend of Kaldi, a goat herder who’s said to have discovered the bean and brought it from Ethiopia.

    The museum shop offers coffee, coffee makers, grinders, tampers, milk containers, and books on home roasting. A café offers, as you’d expect, fresh coffee.

    Location: Villa 44, Al Hisn St, Al Fahidi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +971 4 353 8777


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