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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Five Museums to Visit in Dubai – To Trace the Metropolis from its Inception
Joanna James Joanna James
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Five Museums to Visit in Dubai – To Trace the Metropolis from its Inception

When in Dubai, don't just enjoy its modern wonders, but take time to discover the culture and traditions on which it is based. A visit to these museums will give you great insights.


Dubai Museum

This is the best-known museum in Dubai, and if you can only put one museum on your itinerary, choose this one. Enjoy an overview of the city from its earliest civilizations to the bustling metropolitan it is today, displayed through creative means such as videos, models and maps. The history on display dates back to about the year 2000BC, with archaeological findings from sites in Al Qusais and Jumeirah. Some of the most interesting displays include models of early homes and mud huts as well as a model mosque and depictions of desert life. The museum is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, an 18th Century construction which has previously served as a palace and prison.


Antiques Museum

If you have a passion for things eclectic and exotic, add the Dubai Antiques Museum to your to-do-list. It is actually a large gift shop selling a collection of unique and exotic placed sourced from various places, so you will be able to take some exciting trinkets home with you as a reminder of your stay. Look out for their eco-friendly items, and items produced by, and which give back to, small scale cottage industries.


Emirates National Auto Museum

Ideal for the avid vehicle enthusiast, but interesting for anyone who visits, the National Auto Museum, or car museum, is a fascination place to visit, well worth the drive from your Palm Jumeirah hotel or resort. The vehicles on display are from the private collection of Sheik Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, and include an extensive collection of vehicles, to the finest makes preserved in their original condition, and novelty vehicles with unimaginable modifications. See the vehicles painted in a range of vibrant colours, as well as a unique disco car and a model vehicle styled apartment. You don't need to know much about vehicles to be in awe here.


Al Bastakiya area

You may be staying in the midst of impressive modernity or luxurious comfort at a place such as Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, but remember that Dubai wasn't always like this. There is a long history before the discovery of oil changed its economic circumstances, and this older way of life and be understood during a visit to this area. It isn't a museum, but an opportunity to witness this old style of life in its natural setting. The old buildings are well preserved and neatly maintained, giving visitors a pleasant step back in time when they visit the neighbourhood. Take in the elegant architecture and style, and enjoy the charming eateries and entertainment.


Heritage and Diving Village

One way to admire a country's culture and history are though displays frozen in time, but a living museum experience will give you a more authentic idea of what the region is all about. This is the experience you will get at this village, the section on heritage showcasing many of the traditional crafts such as pottery and weaving, and the section on diving showcasing the local history involving pearl diving. This is an interesting ad unconventional way to journey back in time.