| Skylar Black
Best Museums in Dubai to Fill Your Travel Itinerary
It’s been a long year and a half for all of us - doesn’t a vacation sound nice? As some of us start getting back out there, tourism is expected to boom. And even if you’re not digging out your passport just yet, it’s a great time to take a look at your own city and maybe find some new things to do!
Museums are a great way to spend an afternoon - they’re beautiful, informative, and many can also be great backdrops for your latest Instagram story. We’ve gathered 12 of Dubai’s best museums to fill your travel itinerary or weekend plans. From the legendary Dubai Museum to some of the cute lesser-known tourist spots, read on to find your next adventure!
12. The Selfie Kingdom
Location: Daytona House, Office 101, Motor City, Dubai
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM daily
- General (12 years old and above): 65 Dhs
- Family (2 adults and 2 children): 195 Dhs
- Kids (3-12 years old, accompanied by an adult): 55 Dhs
- Photoshoot (Max. 4 individuals per session): 800 Dhs
- Pets (must be accompanied by at least one adult): 35 Dhs
This relatively new museum in Dubai is perfect for the Instagram addicted and selfie-shy alike. The Selfie Kingdom is dedicated to the art of the perfect selfie, featuring great lighting, a wide range of props, and 15 themed rooms with unique backdrops to fill an entire afternoon with photo fun.
If you’re planning a big photo shoot or just looking for a spot to snap a better profile pic, this venue can suit all of your needs. You can even rent The Selfie Kingdom for birthdays, weddings, or any number of events where you want the photos to look incredible. You can even bring your pets in!
At the moment, the museum has requested that all visitors book their tickets in advance on their website to comply with Covid-19 regulations.
11. Coins Museum
Location: Al Shindagha Area - Bur Dubai
Opening Hours: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Sunday - Thursday
This is one of the smaller exhibits that Dubai has to offer, but it’s still absolutely fascinating. The Coins Museum consists of 8 themed rooms displaying 470 different coins. The coins come from various cultures and periods, including Egypt, Turkey, and of course, the UAE. It’s an amazing place to spend an afternoon learning about history from an interesting perspective, and as far as Dubai museum ticket price goes, it’s free!
10. Pearl Museum
Location: 15th floor, Emirates NBD Headquarters, Deira
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Sunday - Thursday
This gorgeous museum is dedicated to Dubai’s historic pearl trade. The Pearl Museum was founded by Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais and Sultan Al Owais to showcase their incredible pearl collection, consisting entirely of priceless natural Gulf pearls.
As an added bonus, this unique Dubai museum showcases tools and techniques that pearl divers used to harvest these incredible beauties for Dubai’s bustling historical pearl trade.
Unfortunately, the Pearl Museum is temporarily closed to the public due to Covid-19 - their reopening date is unclear, but we hope they’ll be back up and running soon.
9. Dubai Coffee Museum
Location: Villa 44, Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturday - Thursday
If you'd describe yourself as a caffeine fiend or a java junkie, this is the perfect spot for you. The Dubai Coffee Museum explores and honours the history of coffee, especially in the UAE. Coffee has been part of Middle Eastern heritage for almost as long as it has existed - it's thought that ancient people from this region were the first to drink coffee recreationally and were responsible for introducing it to the rest of the world.
The museum's ground floor is divided into zones denoting the traditions and methods of different coffee-drinking cultures. You'll be astonished by the wide variety of artefacts and antiques related to the history of coffee brewing and culture. Upstairs, you'll find a literature room containing hundreds of texts related to coffee and its appreciation.
At the end of your tour, you can leave with a cup of your very own from their custom-built brew bar or browse their shop for a new accessory for your caffeine dreams.
8. History of Cinema Museum
Location: 1st Floor, MCN Hive Building, Al Barsha
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Saturday - Thursday
- Adults: 30 Dhs
- University Students: 25 Dhs
- Children/High School Students: 20 Dhs
If you’re a silver screen buff, or just fascinated by the technology of cinema, then this is the museum for you. Formerly known as the Dubai Moving Image Museum, the History of Cinema Museum was founded by Akram Miknas, an Arab businessman who built the museum to display his vast collection of artefacts, some of which date back as far as 1730.
Visitors can learn about and interact with antiques that showcase the history of modern cinema, from the early days of shadow theatre to the invention of 3D. There are only a few museums on Earth dedicated to the history of cinema, and this is one of the finest.
If you’re searching for a particularly unique venue to host an event, this museum is also available for bookings.
7. Naif Museum Dubai
Location: Naif Area, Deira
Opening Hours: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Sunday - Thursday
This incredible historical building was Dubai’s first-ever police station, and it now stands as a monument to the history of one of the best security services in the world. Visitors can marvel at historical uniforms, weapons, medals and badges, and even some detention rooms.
Anyone interested in the history of an excellent police service should put the Naif Museum Dubai on their bucket list. If you’re not sure where to start, the museum also offers a free guided tour!
At the time of this writing (September 2021), the Naif Museum Dubai has been closed for maintenance. We encourage potential visitors to keep an eye on their website for more information.
6. Museum of Illusions
Location: Al Seef, Bur Dubai
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM, Sunday to Thursday. 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM, Friday and Saturday
- Adults: 80 Dhs
- Students/Seniors: 70 Dhs
- Children 5 - 15 years old: 60 Dhs
- Children Under 5: Free
- Family (2 adults and 2 children): 225 Dhs
Prepare to be amazed! The Museum of Illusions is a huge collection of perception distorting puzzles and optical illusions, free for you to explore and experiment with. From anti-gravity rooms to an infinity tunnel to a table that clones you, we highly recommend this new museum in Dubai for a fun afternoon with friends or a quirky photoshoot.
The Museum of Illusions is the hub of puzzles and optics in Dubai. The museum’s gift shop offers many puzzles to take home and enjoy, and the space can be rented for parties or events.
5. Saruq al Hadid Archeology Museum
Location: Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
Opening Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Sunday - Wednesday. 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Saturday and Thursday. Closed on Fridays.
- Adults: 20 Dhs
- Children (7 - 12 years old): 10 Dhs
- Children under 6: Free
- Seniors over 60: Free
This gorgeous Dubai museum is dedicated to one of the most important archaeological sites in the Emirate - the Saruq al Hadid excavation site in the Rub Al Khali desert. The Saruq al Hadid Museum houses hundreds of artefacts from previous civilizations, including ancient weapons and jewellery. Some of these items are estimated to be more than three millennia-old!
If you’re visiting with children, they can awaken their inner archaeologist at the museum’s simulated excavation site. If you’re looking for fun, educational activities for your kids after the lockdowns, look no further!
4. Etihad Museum
Location: 1 Jumeira Road
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM daily
- Single adult: 25 Dhs
- Group: 20 Dhs
- Students: 10 Dhs
- Children: Free
- People of Determination: Free
If you’re fascinated by the modern history of the UAE, the Etihad has all of the information you could ever dream of. The museum is dedicated to the formation of the current state after discovering oil in the area. It features a beautiful symbolic art installation in its lobby to commemorate that. The lobby consists of seven golden pillars and a curved roof, representing the pens and paper that signed the agreement that brought the UAE into being.
If you’re searching for even more information, the Dubai museum contains an extensive library packed with nearly 3000 books and tomes.
3. Dubai Museum
Location: Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM - 8:30 PM, Saturday to Thursday. 2:30 PM - 8:30 PM, Fridays.
- Adults: 3 Dhs
- Children under the age of 6: 1 Dhs
The Dubai Museum is the oldest museum in Dubai, and it’s home to an incredible amount of the area’s history. The building itself was built in the late 18th century as a fort responsible for protecting Dubai from foreign attacks. It functioned as the ruler’s residence until 1896 and spent some time as a prison before becoming a museum in 1971.
The museum’s goal is to give a comprehensive history of the daily lives of Arabs before the oil boom - the lower floors contain dozens of dioramas depicting marketplaces, dwellings, pearl divers, and much more. There’s also a section dedicated solely to archaeological findings from the area, some of which date back more than 4000 years.
At the time of this writing (September 2021), the museum is under renovation and is closed to the public. We encourage potential visitors to keep an eye on their website for more information.
2. Al Shindagha Museum
Location: Al Shindagha Neighborhood
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM daily (excluding Tuesdays)
- Adults: 15 Dhs
- Students (5 - 24 years old): 5 Dhs
- Groups and Families (5 persons or over) 10 Dhs
- Free entry for children under 5, People of Determination, and Thukher Card holders.
This is a new museum in Dubai - the first phase of the project was opened in 2019, while the others are still under development. The Al Shindagha Museum is part of the Dubai Historical Neighborhood Project and is set to be a cluster of 23 galleries showcasing the rich cultural history of Dubai.
At the moment, there are only two exhibits open to the public. The first to open was The Perfume House. It is located inside the old house of Sheikha Shaikha Bint Saeed Bin Maktoum, who was a skilled perfumer. One of the displays includes a 28 kg piece of Oud that once belonged to her.
1. Museum of the Future
Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, TradeCentreTrade Centre 2
Opening Hours: To Be Determined
Admission: To Be Determined
This incredible structure is still under construction, but it’s already been praised by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful museums in the world! The Museum of the Future reflects the Emirate’s ambitions and creativity both inside and out - the stainless steel facade of this architectural miracle is illuminated by over 14 000 metres of Arabic calligraphy, designed by Emirati artist Mattar bin Lahej. The calligraphy includes several quotes from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that serve to illuminate the museum’s purpose:
“The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it… The future does not wait...The future can be designed and built today.”
This beautiful structure is not yet open to the public due to delays from the Covid-19 pandemic, but we anticipate that it will open sometime within the next year. We encourage potential visitors to keep an eye on their website for more details as they emerge.