Many visitors to Dubai may be familiar with the Dubai Museum as one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai, but you may be surprised by just how many other museums you will find in the city.
Athough the country is only 48 years old, the city of Dubai has a much longer history, and civilisation in the region can be dated back some 5,000 years! Much of this history is captured in these top museums across the city.
Some are quite small and explain specific chapters of the city with a nominal entry fee. Others are fabulous modern buildings with the present era and the future in mind.
Let’s take a deeper look at each:
- Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort (3 AED)
- Etihad Museum (25 AED)
- Coffee Museum
- Coin Museum
- Bayt Al Khanyar (Dagger) Museum (5 AED)
- Majilis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif
- Salsali Private Museum – Free
- Dubai Police Museum (Naif Museum) – Free
- Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum (20 AED)
- Museum of the Poet Aqeli
- Pearl Museum – private collection of Emirates NBD
- Al Shindaga Museum – Story of the Creek and Perfume House
Unique Modern Museums in Dubai
- Museum of the Future
- Museum of Illusions
- OliOli interactive children’s play museum
- 3D World Selfie Museum
Other historic buildings worth a visit
Although not museums as such, the culturally curious will definitely want to include these historical buildings and tours on their Dubai attractions list:
Arabian Tea House
The original is in Bastakyia, however, there are now additional branches of the Emirati favourite.
Within the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, you will find the SMCCU, a not-for-profit organization housed in a restored wind tower house.
House 26 Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Al Musallah Street
Open Doors, Open Minds, all questions – no matter how sensitive – are welcome and answered.
Through SMCCU you can sign up for a traditional Emirati breakfast, lunch, or dinner. These include guided tours of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood before taking a seat on Bedouin-style carpets and pillows and enjoy a selection of traditional dishes while your local host answers questions about life in the emirate.
They also offer walking tours, a mosque visit to Al Farooq Mosque and Creekside tours. Times and dates are limited so you are thoroughly recommended to book in advance. Costs vary per activity, children are discounted 50%.
You can also book these tours through external providers such as Get Your Guide to easily keep your tour and attraction bookings together:
- Historic Walking Tour (1.5 hours 10:30 AM Tuesday & Thursday)
- Cultural Lunch at SMCCU (1.5 hours, 1:00 PM Monday to Thursday)
Although quite a modern building, the tours conducted at Jumeirah Mosque are among the best for understanding more about the country’s Islamic culture. You can read a complete on what to expect at Dubai’s mosques (and which ones are actually open to non-Muslims) here.
This is an example of what you can expect on a cultural tour of the Jumeirah Mosque, conducted by SMCCU.
You can combine both Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and the Jumeirah Mosque if you take a Heritage Express tour run by SMCCU.
Other Buildings of interest in Dubai
Beyond Dubai – Museums in the UAE
We strongly suggest history-lovers make a day trip up to Sharjah, known as the country’s cultural capital. Here you will find the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, the Calligraphy Museum, Shajrah Fort (al Hisn) to name just a few.
Another great place to visit is Al Ain, in Abu Dhabi Emirate. Birthplace of the country’s founding Father Sheikh Zayed, and home to the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites. You can see a complete guide to visiting Al Ain here.
Abu Dhabi also has several museums and cultural attractions of interest, including the breathtaking Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Hosn, the UAE Heritage Village and Qasr al Watan.
- You can find a complete guide on how to day trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai here.
- We suggest this full-day group tour from Dubai
Each of the Northern Emirates also has its own museum:
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack, and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws, and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Go City Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.Dubai Travel Planner