A Guide to Dubai Museums: Uncovering TOP Spots

Dubai museums

In addition to its futuristic skyline and lavish attractions, Dubai is home to a diverse array of museums that provide an engrossing trip through history, culture, and innovation.

From the iconic Dubai Museum and the mesmerizing Museum of the Future to the lesser-known gems that hold stories of the past, Dubai’s museum scene is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

Explore the diverse museums featured in this guide and you will gain insights into the exhibition areas and upcoming events at various museums in the city.

Learn about the prices for Dubai museums tickets and find out which museums will pique your interest.

Best Dubai Museums

Museum of The Future 

Museum of The Future  - Dubai museums

Rising to a height of 77 meters (225 feet) and spanning an expansive area of 30,548 square meters, the Museum of the Future encompasses 5 exhibition zones and 2 event spaces, one of which is available for private rental:

  1. OSS Hope: Immerse yourself in the experience of life on a space station situated 600km above the Earth.
  2. The Heal Institute: Embark on an augmented and virtual reality journey through Dubai and the world in 2071.
  3. Al Waha: “The Oasis” offers serene experiences and a Sensory Room.
  4. Tomorrow Today: Discover futuristic technologies that are already part of our present reality.
  5. Future Heroes: A dynamic play area designed to inspire children through missions and games.

The Dubai Future Foundation helped establish the Museum of the Future, which features fascinating displays about possible technological developments in the next twenty years.

By 2050, visitors can investigate technologies that could address social and economic issues, improve human physical and mental capacities, and have a beneficial impact on the state of climate change.

In addition to its exhibitions, the museum regularly hosts educational courses, workshops, and discussions utilizing cutting-edge technology and scientific solutions to delve into the innovations shaping the future.

We recommend booking tickets in advance (1-2 weeks) as capacity is limited.

  • Entry fee: from 149 AED per person (4 y.o. and older). Check availability here.
  • Timings: 10:00 AM-9:30 PM
  • Location: 67CP+H4Q – Sheikh Zayed Rd – Trade Centre – Trade Centre 2 – Dubai

Etihad Museum

Etihad Museum - Dubai museums

This contemporary structure offers a comprehensive portrayal of the country’s history. The museum comprises multiple pavilions where interactive storytelling unfolds through screens and installations. As visitors traverse the museum, they can engage with films, photographs, contracts, and significant documents, with a particularly thorough focus on the period from 1968 to 1974.

Even if the history of the UAE doesn’t typically pique your interest, it’s worth visiting the building. The roof, crafted from white material and curved to resemble a sheet of paper, serves as a symbolic representation of the constitution page signed on this very spot in 1971. The building features seven columns, each representing the seven emirates that united to form the country.

The Etihad Museum earned recognition as the best new museum of 2017 in the Middle East and Africa at the Best Cultural Awards ceremony in London. Furthermore, it secured the top spot in the “Best Museum Architecture of the Year” category.

  • Entry fee: 25 AED per adult 20 AED per person of the group of 10 or more, 10 AED per pupil or student 5-24 y.o.
  • Timings: 10:00 AM-8:00 PM
  • Location: 1 Jumeirah St – Al Mina – Dubai

Madame Tussauds Museum

Madame Tussauds Museum - Dubai museums

Experience an exclusive encounter with over 65 lifelike wax figures of iconic personalities at the Madame Tussauds Museum in Dubai.

The museum provides captivating interactive experiences, tailored to the preferences of visitors interested in local Middle Eastern luminaries or global celebrities such as Tom Cruise or Taylor Swift (by the way, she was named the Person of the Year 2023 by Time Magazine).

Even if the chances of meeting these stars in real life are scarce, you can still engage with their wax replicas up close.

Be sure to bring your camera to seize the opportunity for unforgettable photos alongside these remarkably realistic wax figures!

Learn more about Madame Tussauds Museum here.

  • Entry fee: from 145 AED. Here you can check availability.
  • Timings: Sunday to Thursday 12:00 PM-8:00 PM, Friday to Saturday 11:00 AM-9:00 PM
  • Location: Bluewaters Mall – Bluewaters Island – Dubai

3D World Selfie Museum

3D World Selfie Museum - Dubai museums

The unique museum features intricately painted pictures and optical illusions meant to stimulate your imagination and encourage you to engage with the 2D and 3D paintings in completely new ways.

When you visit the museum, you will see over 185 masterpieces spread over 21,000 square feet. These illusions flow from the floor to the walls and ceilings with ease.

More details about the museum are available here.

  • Entry fee: 89 AED per adult (12+ y.o.), 65 AED per kid 3-11 y.o. Check availability and book your tickets here.
  • Timings: 10:00 AM-8:00 PM
  • Location: Behind Mashreq Bank – Sheikh Zayed Rd – Al Quoz – Al Quoz 4 – Dubai

Al Shindagha Museum

Al Shindagha Museum - Dubai museums

Situated in the historically significant founding area of Dubai, near the creek, the museum is housed within meticulously restored early 20th-century residences.

The Al Shindagha museum holds great historical significance, having once overlooked the merchants’ harbor and encompassed neighborhoods and dwellings for both the ruling Al Maktoum family and the residents of Dubai during the nascent stages of the economy.

This vast complex spans 169,000 square meters and comprises 162 historic buildings.

The museum’s exhibitions are dedicated to a wide array of subjects including poetry, musical instruments, traditional attire, culture, craftsmanship, religion, perfumery, maritime activities, particularly pearl fishing, the natural environment of the Emirates, and much more.

For instance, the fragrance section offers insights into the ingredients used in scented products and delves into the significance of oud and Agar tree oil in representing cultural self-conception.

  • Entry fee: 50 AED per adult, 20 AED per pupil or student 5-24 y.o., 40 AED per person in a group of 5 and more. Check availability and book your tickets here.
  • Timings: 10:00 AM-8:00 PM
  • Location: 288 – Dubai

Explore Dubai’s hidden gems – fun family activities for every adventurer.

Dubai Coffee Museum

Dubai Coffee Museum - Dubai museums

Discover the secrets of preparing coffee on hot sand and explore the various utensils used to make and savor this beloved beverage worldwide at the renowned Dubai Coffee Museum.

The ground floor of the Coffee Museum is dedicated to showcasing different roasting methods, coffee varieties, and the historical significance of the drink in Egypt, the UAE, and Ethiopia.

Visitors can also purchase all the essential tools for coffee making at the museum’s store, including pitchers, tampers, holders, jiggers, thermometers, scales, shakers, and accessories for creating latte art.

For those interested in mastering the art of traditional coffee preparation, there are books available featuring recipes and tips for aspiring coffee enthusiasts. Additionally, guests can immerse themselves in the world of coffee not only through its captivating aroma but also through literature that celebrates the motto “A morning without coffee is a day wasted.”

The museum’s second section offers a diverse collection of coffee books and documentaries for enthusiasts to peruse. Visitors can also unwind and enjoy a snack along with a cup of coffee at the cozy lounge.

  • Entry fee: 10 AED
  • Timings: Saturday to Thursday 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Location: Historical Neighborhood, Bastakiya, Villa 44 – Al Hisn St – Al Fahidi – Dubai

Museum of Illusions 

Museum of Illusions  - Dubai museums

Museum of Illusions offers a cutting-edge setting adorned with shimmering neon lights and the perfect lighting to capture stunning new photos for your social media platforms. Visitors can immerse themselves in an area that allows them to “multiply” their image using a kaleidoscope, explore an upside-down room, and engage with immersive spaces featuring optical illusions and holograms, 3-D sculptures and images, as well as a glass-enclosed chamber offering breathtaking views. In total, the museum boasts over 60 exhibition areas and installations.

The museum provides a range of ticket packages suitable for families or groups, including options such as the Family package (2 adults + 2 kids) priced at 250 AED, the Family & Friends package (5 tickets for adults or kids) available for 370 AED, the Birthday kid + 2 parents package priced at 60 AED, and the School groups package (with complimentary admission for teachers) also available for 60 AED.

  • Entry fee: 90 AED per adult 16+ y.o., 65 AED per kid 3-15 y.o.,75 AED per senior 60+ y.o., 40 AED per POD. Check availability here.
  • Timings: Monday to Thursday 10:00 AM-10:00 PM, Friday to Sunday 10:00 AM-11:00 PM
  • Location: Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood – Al Seef – Dubai Creek – Dubai – Al Seef St – Al Hamriya – Dubai

Oli Oli

Oli Oli - Dubai museums

Oli Oli has been honored as the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice recipient every year from 2019 to 2023 and has been recognized by Timeout Dubai as the best kids’ edutainment center. Offering over 40 engaging experiences for kids, each zone is designed to stimulate children’s bodies and brains.

Some of the permanent areas include:

  • Air Gallery: Featuring interactive exhibits such as air cannons, balloons, and plastic pipes to demonstrate the physical principles of air.
  • Water Gallery: Offering more than 10 interactive games and activities related to water, including dancing in the rain, playing with a water vortex, firing a ball cannon, and washing a real car.
  • Toshi’s Nets: A giant, colorful string-woven creation filled with holes and magical shapes, designed for children between 90-150 centimeters tall.
  • teamLab: Aimed to promote alterations in the interactions between those occupying the same area.
  • Toddler Gallery: Equipped with slides, finger games, and educational toys for developing fine motor skills, catering to children aged 2 and younger.
  • Incredi-Balls: Featuring six interactive games using balls.
  • Cars and Ramps: Allowing children to independently create vehicles from various materials and ride them along a route also constructed by children.

Additionally, the museum offers a temporary exhibition called Magic Winterland, showcasing miniatures built with over 700 pieces that depict the northern lights, adorable figures of villagers, animals, and Christmas and New Year decorations.

  • Entry fee: from 139 AED per kid 2-16 y.o. + 1 adult, from 69 AED per toddler (12-23 months) + 1 adult.
  • Timings: 10:00 AM-7:00 PM
  • Location: 62 4 A St – Al Quoz – Al Quoz 1 – Dubai

Aya

Aya - Dubai museums

Aya spans an expansive area of 40,000 square feet and is segmented into 12 distinct thematic zones, each offering an exhilarating and immersive experience from the moment you step in.

Aurora, the center of the complex, creates dynamic, customized pieces of art in real-time using gesture and motion controls.

The Source houses a mystical room that showcases a captivating six-minute demonstration of vibrant LED pools.

In the Drift Zone, visitors are transported to a vivid world where they can recline on a lush hillside that gently pulsates to the rhythm of the surrounding music.

The River zone creates ever-changing storms and pools of colors and lights, uniquely generated with each step.

The Flora section invites guests to wander through a bioluminescent garden adorned with artificial grass and hanging vines, evoking a truly enchanting ambiance.

Tides feature a mirrored room adorned with LED totems and a central monolith, serving as the focal point of an engaging eight-minute show comprising four distinct narrative chapters.

The final zone, Harmonia, presents a three-minute light show featuring robots in a mirrored infinite space.

  • Entry fee: from 125 AED. Check availability here.
  • Timings: Sunday to Thursday 10:00 AM-10:00 PM, Friday to Saturday 10:00 AM-12:00 AM
  • Location: Wafi City – Oud Metha – Dubai

History of Cinema Museum

History of Cinema Museum - Dubai museums

This museum, which aims to present the prehistory of cinema, has a unique collection of artifacts that are enhanced by digital clips and animated models. The collection has been painstakingly collected over 35 years by Mr. Akram Miknas, a dedicated businessman who also has a profound admiration for taking pictures.

With a wide range of authentic items from the 1730s to the 20th century, the museum offers a thorough look at the development of visual entertainment. The collection provides an engaging look into the history of film, covering everything from the early days of shadow plays to the groundbreaking development of 3D projection and the rise of contemporary filmmaking.

  • Entry fee: 30 AED per adult 18+ y.o., 20 AED per kid, 25 AED per university student
  • Timings: Saturday to Thursday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM (temporarily closed)
  • Location: MCN Hive, 1st Floor, TECOM – Dubai

Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum

Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum - Dubai museums

The Saruq Al-Hadid Museum in Dubai, established in 1928, is specifically designed to exhibit a remarkable array of artifacts unearthed from the ongoing excavation at the Saruq Al-Hadid site.

Visitors can marvel at a diverse collection of bronze and iron tools, weaponry, metal artifacts, exquisite gold jewelry, an extensive assortment of beads, as well as pottery, stoneware, and seals.

As guests delve into the mysteries surrounding the site, the museum’s galleries offer insights into the scientific methodologies and theories underpinning the discovery of these artifacts, while also delving into the chronological history of the site.

  • Entry fee: 20 AED per adult, 10 AED per kid 7-12 y.o.
  • Timings: Monday to Thursday 7:30 AM-7:00 PM, Friday and Sunday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Location: 778Q+PVV – Al Fahidi – Dubai

Jumeirah Archaeological Site

Jumeirah Archaeological Site - Dubai museums

The Jumeirah Archaeological Site is a sprawling expanse that harks back to the Abbasid era in the 9th century AD, featuring the remains of 8 ancient structures from Dubai’s bygone era. Encompassing over 20 acres, the site provides breathtaking vistas of the distant Dubai skyline, creating a striking juxtaposition against the modern high-rise buildings that dominate the city’s horizon.

  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: 24/7
  • Location: 56XR+8GJ – Jumeirah – Jumeirah 2 – Dubai

Hatta Heritage Village

Hatta Heritage Village - Dubai museums

In 2001, local authorities worked to open the cultural and ethnographic village known as Hatta Heritage Village to the public. This museum features a variety of huts and cottages that have been kept in their original condition for centuries, faithfully recreating the traditional way of life of the indigenous people of Dubai.

One of the prominent structures within the village is Bait Al Wali, a spacious residence comprising multiple rooms, a central courtyard, and a shaded seating area, once inhabited by a local ruler. The courtyard showcases an array of jewelry, weaponry, tableware, and kitchen utensils, all crafted using traditional methods with materials such as clay, leather, and copper sourced from the surrounding mountains.

This captivating complex provides a unique insight into the pre-oil era lifestyle of the Hatta oasis, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: 8:00 AM-8:00 PM
  • Location: Hatta – Dubai

Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya - Dubai museums

Al Bastakiya, one of the oldest districts in Dubai, boasts a collection of buildings primarily dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Situated between Dubai Creek, the Al Fahidi Fort Museum, and Musalla Street, this historic area spans along the 14-kilometer bay that divides the city, serving as the cultural and historical heart of Dubai.

This venerable neighborhood began to take shape at the outset of the 19th century and was christened in homage to the merchants who migrated from Bastak, a region in Iran. The hallmark of Al Bastakiya is its wind towers, designed to facilitate ventilation and air conditioning within the dwellings. These towers harnessed the wind to direct airflow into living spaces, ameliorating the challenging climatic conditions.

Visitors are captivated by the enchanting ancient architecture, characterized by traditional Arabic design elements adorned with intricate wood and plaster embellishments.

  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: 24/7
  • Location: Al Fahidi – Dubai

Bayt Al Khanyar Museum

Bayt Al Khanyar Museum - Dubai museums

The Bayt Al Khanyar Museum offers a unique focus on Emirati men’s traditional attire and lifestyle from bygone eras, with a particular emphasis on the ceremonial dagger. Visitors can explore the various designs of the dagger and gain insights into the tools used in its crafting.

Additionally, the museum showcases a diverse array of accessories, including elegant walking canes, traditional arts, musical instruments, leather goods, and classic coffee serving sets, some of which are available for purchase.

Tourists have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture by donning Emirati clothing and capturing memorable moments through photography. Furthermore, they can savor the flavors of Arabic coffee and other traditional beverages at the museum’s cafe, enhancing their cultural experience.

  • Entry fee: 5 AED
  • Timings: Saturday to Thursday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Location: Villa 42 Al Fahidi St – Al Fahidi – Dubai

Coins Museum

This museum is a gold mine if you are an avid collector of coins. There is much to be amazed by with a collection of over 470 coins dating from antiquity to the present. The collection’s oldest coin, which is from the seventh century, provides an intriguing window into the past.

Enthusiastic visitors can delve into the fine intricacies of each coin by using magnification screens and special display cabinets to examine the coins in depth. Furthermore, touchscreens offer an interactive means of discovering more about the cultural and historical relevance of the coins on exhibit.

  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: Monday to Thursday 8:00 AM-3:00 PM, Friday 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
  • Location: Bur Dubai – Dubai Heritage Village – Dubai

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum - Dubai museums

The oldest museum is located in Dubai’s Al Fahidi Fort, which was home to a strong ruler until 1896. The fort, which was built initially as a defensive building, served as a jail, garrison, and weapons storehouse. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum turned the fort into a museum in 1971 so that future generations might learn about the history of ancient Arabs.

The museum’s exhibits include pottery, animal figures, artifacts related to pearl diving, shops from the 1950s, and items dating back to 3000 BC.

Various sections of the museum represent different aspects of the region’s history:

  • The Monuments Wing displays weapons, daggers, kitchen and household items, jewelry, and pearls, showcasing the area’s historical significance.
  • The Dubai Wing features reproductions and exhibitions illustrating the city’s transformation through the work of its people, highlighting innovation and resilience.
  • The 1950s Markets section offers a realistic depiction of the trading atmosphere of the last century, complete with lifelike figures of sellers and buyers in an old souk setting.

The museum also has sections devoted to pearling, marine and desert marvels, the history of interior design and house construction, and musical instruments. Most notably, guests can tour life-size outdoor reproductions of bamboo houses and dhow.

  • Entry fee: 3 AED per adult, 1 AED per kid under 6 y.o.
  • Timings: Temporarily closed (under renovation)
  • Location: Al Fahidi Fort – Al Fahidi – Dubai

Pearl Museum

The Pearl Museum boasts a collection that was initiated by Sultan Ali Al Owais in 1970, showcasing a diverse array of pearls and their origins, along with detailed descriptions of their external characteristics and the intricate art of crafting jewelry from this precious material.

Furthermore, the museum pays homage to the lives of captains and merchants, celebrating the historical significance of the pearl economy.

Additionally, the museum features an exhibition showcasing a wide range of coins, bars, and banknotes spanning from ancient Greece to the present day, offering a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of currency over time.

  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: Temporarily closed
  • Location: 10 Baniyas Rd – Port Saeed – Riggat Al Buteen – Dubai

Naif Museum

For those intrigued by the culture and historical legacy of Dubai, the Naif History Museum offers a captivating exploration. This museum offers an intriguing glimpse into the evolution and growth of the Dubai Police Force, shedding light on the city’s justice system.

With its origins dating back over 60 years, the museum is intricately linked to the security facets of Dubai, providing a valuable perspective on the city’s law enforcement and security history.

  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: Temporarily closed
  • Location: Sikkath Al Khail Road Naif Opp Hyatt Regency Hotel – Dubai

Dubai Police Museum

Dubai Police Museum - Dubai museums

The three halls of the Dubai Police Museum are filled to capacity with an amazing collection of old pictures, relics, weapons, and equipment.

An insight into the early days of law enforcement in the area is provided by the impressive displays, which include firearms from the Dubai Police’s 1956 founding. A distinctive element of the collection is provided by the museum’s display of goods made by the skilled hands of prisoners.

In addition, guests might be amazed by the massive, heavy PCs that were brought to Dubai for police use; these machines represent the state-of-the-art technology of that time.

  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: Temporarily closed
  • Location: 45GW+JG5 – Umm Suqeim St – Al Sufouh – Al Sufouh 1 – Dubai

In summary, Dubai provides a wide variety of museums to suit a range of age groups and passions, for example:

  • Museums in Dubai with free admission: Hatta Heritage Village, Al Bastakiya, Coins Museum, Jumeirah Archaeological Site.
  • Museums in Dubai for outdoor enthusiasts: Hatta Heritage Village, Jumeirah Archaeological Site.
  • For those who are keen to learn more about innovative technologies: Museum of the Future, Aya.
  • Dubai Museums that are great for children: Oli Oli, 3D World Selfie Museum, Madame Tussauds Museum Museum of the Future, and Museum of Illusions.
  • Historical museums: Etihad Museum, Al Shindagha Museum, Pearl Museum, History of Cinema Museum, Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum, Hatta Heritage Village, Al Bastakiya, Coins Museum, Jumeirah Archaeological Site, Dubai Museum (temporarily closed).
  • Art museums: Aya, 3D World Selfie Museum, Madame Tussauds Museum, Infinity des Lumières (closed).

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About The Author

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I am Anastasia, the author of this blog and a passionate and experienced traveler who resides in the UAE.

I have visited every Emirate, every popular sight, and every hidden gem.

I m here to help you make your trip to the UAE unforgettable.

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