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You associate Dubai with great wealth, so it’s not surprising that it’s known as the pearl of the Middle East. It’s known for its spectacular architecture and buildings, its man-made islands, its glitz and glamor, and its never-ending list of entertainment. Those who fancy some culture while in Dubai love to visit the vibrant souks and try some of the cool museums in Dubai.
Dubai – an extraordinary travel destination
Who would believe that there’s a ski slope in the middle of the desert? The 5 slopes indoor ski resort boasts the world’s first indoor black run. Then there’s also the iconic illuminated, choreographed Dubai fountain on Burj Khalifa Lake that shoots water up to 500 feet into the air.
There is no shortage of cool museums in Dubai. Al Shindagha, as an example, is beautifully positioned on the shores of the Creek and offers an insight into the remarkable history and Emirati culture.
You’ll be taken on a fascinating journey where you discover the role of scented oils in the cultural- and religious life of the Emirati people.
We’re going to take a look at some of the other best museums in Dubai and why these museums can be a colorful line-up on your itinerary list.
6 Cool Museums in Dubai to Visit
Museum of the Future
The Museum of the Future is referred to as a living museum and offers regular exhibitions as well as themed attractions and immersive theater.
It is a fascinating place to visit as it gives you an insight into the future of our world. The exhibitions focus on certain aspects such as ecosystems, near-future technologies, health, outer space resource development, and much more.
In fact, the different floors have interactive displays relating to the mind, body, spirit, and also the earth and outer space. If you go on a 2-hour tour, the guides will see to it that you visit the different exhibits on the various floors. These guides are there to ensure a smooth and thrilling journey into the unknown.
One floor in museum dedicated to the children
There is one floor that is dedicated to kids, giving them the chance to become heroes for a while as they work out solutions for tomorrow’s problems.
This is a brand new museum in Dubai, only opening in February 2022. It’s already become a famous landmark along Sheikh Zayed Road. The intriguing museum was founded by the Dubai Future Foundation and explores how things in the world are going to turn out going forward and beyond 2022.
Architect Shaun Killa wanted the magnificent structure to represent all that the glitzy United Arab Emirates city stands for – a modern, luxury city ahead of its time.
It’s a silver landmark with its metal plates, and it has architecture that is also ahead of its time. The Museum of the Future is situated in a green mound or hill and this represents earth, with the main building indicative of humanity.
There is even a lift or elevator designed like a spacecraft that whisks visitors to a space station. The museum is all about activity and visitors will be able to engage with the technology and listen to animated storytellers and attend workshops.
Daily 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
- Entry for all those aged 3 and older – AED 145
- Under 3 year olds – free of charge
Pre-book your entry tickets to the Museum of the Future here.
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If you are a coffee lover, the Coffee Museum is the perfect outing for you and your friends. Coffee is very much part of Arabic culture. This cool museum is found in the historical area of Al Fahidi, tucked away between narrow lanes of the old district.
When you visit this amazing coffee museum, you discover that it showcases coffees from other parts of the world. There’s lots of intriguing information on coffee and there are also unbelievably ancient coffee grinders and coffee brewing pots on display. Some of them date back to the 1st World War.
In true lavish Arabic culture, visitors are often welcomed with a cup of Java and possibly a snack when they enter the museum. There’s also a coffee preparation demonstration in the Brew Bar where visitors can try some of the exotic aromatic coffee beverages and tasty snacks.
It’s the first ever coffee museum idea in the Middle East and there is also a gift shop so that visitors can take home some items as a souvenir.
Saturday to Thursday – 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Fridays – closed
It is free for everyone to enter the Coffee Museum.
Located in the historic Bur Dubai district, and consisting of 2 floors, the Coins Museum is a specialized museum that coin lovers and collectors will be interested in. The actual building is of interest too as it’s built of interesting materials such as trunks of palm trees, teakwood, coral, and stone.
It isn’t a large museum but there are close to 500 coins displayed in several rooms. They come from the Middle East, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. They are housed in special display cabinets, magnifying screens as well as touch screens with electronic drop-down lists. You get detailed information on each coin.
In the several display rooms, already mentioned, you’ll find information about the history of the coins and where the coins were minted. The 8th room has 102 coins minted in the Arabian Peninsula and the United Arab Emirates.
Saturday and Sunday – closed
Monday to Thursday – 8.00 am to 3.00 pm
Friday – 8.00 am to 11.30 am
Entry is free of charge. It is one of the top free attractions in Dubai.
Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusions in Dubai is family-friendly and will leave you and your kids spellbound. There are more than 80 exhibits in store – it’s the biggest of its kind in the world.
This is a new museum in Dubai, the latest edition in Dubai at Al Seef. If you want to enter a world of fascination, mystery, and trickery, where your mind deceives you, this museum is it. You’re in for a thoroughly interactive, immersive time full of trickery and confusion.
Parents will be glad to know that the entertaining, amusing tricks also educate the kids about perception and vision.
Never a dull moment in this fun museum
When you enter, you go through several rooms, and from mirrors that make you look obese or like a scarecrow, the anti-gravity room will have you looking all upside down.
There are all kinds of mesmerizing brain teasers, so just when you think you can’t handle all the trickery and illusions, it’s all over. You can set aside an hour in this ‘never-a-dull-moment’ museum.
When you visit the Museum of Illusions in Dubai you get a double whammy as the location of the museum is wonderful as well – in the lovely neighborhood of Al Seef. There is so much other entertainment with lots of cafes and restaurants. A top attraction in the area is the promenade along the historical Dubai Creek area.
This is also one of the new museums in Dubai, highly entertaining, and a superb outing for the whole family. You can also take a bit of time to explore the gift shop and buy some cool gifts for those back home.
Monday to Thursday – 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays – 10.00 am to 11.00 pm
- Adult ticket (16 to 59 years) – AED 80
- Senior ticket – over 60 years of age – AED 72
- Children 5 to 15 – AED 60
- Kids under 4 years of age – free entry
Pre-book your tickets to the Museum of Illusions online.
The gorgeous Pearl Museum in Dubai is dedicated to the late Chairman of the National Bank of Dubai. He wanted to display the priceless collection of natural pearls from the Gulf. The museum is also a tribute to the people of UAE.
The Pearl Museum is found in Deira, on the 15th floor of the Emirates National Bank headquarters, housing a magnificent collection of saltwater pearls. The museum simply celebrates the UAE’s pearl-diving heritage. In the museum, you’ll find out about the dhows or boats and what took place at the diving spots.
Apart from the shimmering jewelry on display, you’ll also glean insight into the fascinating lives of the divers and the equipment they used to actually harvest the pearls. All information and labels in the museum are written in Arabic and English.
You’ll discover that some of these pearl divers started training to be pearl divers at the age of 10. Before oil came into the picture, these beautiful gems were the money spinners in the Gulf, the most important part of the economy then.
If you want to visit the Peal Museum, you first have to contact the museum ahead of time and they then arrange a showing for you with a guide. This is to safeguard their treasured pearls.
Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 4.00 pm.
Admission to the Pearl Museum – free to all.
Opening in 2017, this is another modern museum with its eye-catching curved white roof. The attractive roof was designed by Canadian architects Moriyama and Teshima. It’s found in Jumeirah, at the start of Jumeirah Beach Road.
The Etihad Museum tells the story of the birth of the UAE in 1971. When you visit the best museums in Dubai, you always come away wiser because of the thrilling ways they present visitors with media. At this particular museum, you’ll find photographs, documentary films, timelines, artifacts, and interactive displays.
Tours of Union House free of charge
There are also free tours of the adjacent Union House available. This is where the UAE’s 7 founding fathers conducted the negotiations for the start of the state. Tours of Union House are offered every day free of charge.
The museum has an interesting design with its roof representing the sheet of paper upon which the declaration was written. Seven golden columns symbolize the pens for signing it. There are huge photographs of the rulers of the seven emirates that founded the nation.
All in all, people who have visited the museum say its an awesome outing. Etihad stands for ‘Union’ and the Etihad Museum impresses with is thrilling exhibitions but also its amazing architecture.
There are permanent exhibitions and also temporary ones. There is also a library, theater, and restaurant for visitors.
Daily – 10:00 am – 8.00 pm
Last Entry: 7:00 pm
Guided tours every day
- Adult: 25 AED
- Group – 20 AED
- Students – 10 AED
- Children – free
Pre-book your ticket to the Etihad Museum here.
Magnificent skyscrapers, fabulous beaches, exquisite dining, and vibrant shopping in Dubai ensures that the city which rose up from the desert remains a fantastic tourist destination.
For those who have visited Dubai or who intend to do so, the best museums in Dubai offer an eclectic mix of exhibits that encourage interactivity.
Because of the rise in technology, museums are no longer just places where you have to be quiet while you look. Modern tech has transformed museums and turned the ones in Dubai into fabulous participatory places of engagement.
Examples of museums such as the ones listed here, show the change in museums. Imaginative curators have developed immersive, thrilling museums that are more accessible than ever and are important to ensure history comes to life and also gives an inkling as to what is awaiting in the future.