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Your ultimate guide to all the museums in the UAE

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Here’s a comprehensive list of all the most favourite and popular museums in the UAE

Whether you’re an explorer, art enthusiast or history buff, there’s never a bad time to explore the UAE’s vibrant museum scene.

You can expect the variety of museums across the country to offer unique and enriching experiences, catered to people of all ages. From children’s museums to hidden gems of art and archaeology, the UAE has plenty of museums and cultural offerings to satisfy every curiosity.

So embrace the spirit of discovery and celebrate the power of museums to inspire, educate and captivate visitors of all ages.

Here’s a closer look at the UAE’s remarkable museums and galleries.

 

ABU DHABI

 

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Louvre Abu Dhabi

 

Discover the beauty of timeless masterpieces and captivating exhibitions as you explore the galleries at your leisure. From ancient artefacts to contemporary marvels, there’s something to captivate every imagination. And why not top the day off with a little walk around the beautifully designed dome? Keep an eye out for kayaking events on the regular and children’s special exhibits too!

For further information, visit Louvre Abu Dhabi

 

Sheikh Zayed Heritage Centre

 

Explore the life of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founding father, at the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Centre in Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen district. This museum, set in a traditional Emirati village with camels, showcases a photo gallery of Sheikh Zayed with international dignitaries and personal memorabilia, including his favourite hunting rifles. It offers a heartfelt tribute to Sheikh Zayed’s legacy, making it a must-visit for all.

 

Heritage Village

 

The Heritage Village offers a family-friendly experience where visitors can immerse themselves in nomadic Arabian life. Shop at an old-world souk, explore an ancient mosque, and see inside an authentic Bedouin tent. Families will enjoy the goats, camels, and Arabian horses roaming the park. History enthusiasts can learn about Abu Dhabi’s development, from palm grove irrigation to traditional home cooling methods.

For further information, visit Visit Abu Dhabi

 

Qasr Al Hosn

 

Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, holding the city’s first permanent structure; the watchtower. The iconic building stands as a testament to timelessness and now hosts several historical museum gems, the House of Artisans and the Cultural Foundation. Both are well worth a visit!

For further information, visit Qasr Al Hosn

 

Qasr Al Watan

 

One place which embodies the spirit of the UAE is Qasr Al Watan. Serving as a global beacon, it invites you to immerse in the culture, knowledge and remarkable narrative of this country. A testament to the nation’s spirit, it unfolds an enriching experience, bridging past and present. Inside this magnificent building you will find the Qasr Al Watan Library and the Place in Motion light show, as well as a charming dining area.

For further information, visit Qasr Al Watan

 

Abrahamic Family House

 

If there is one place which encompasses the remarkable tolerance and diversity of the UAE it is at the Abrahamic Family House. Included on its grounds is a mosque, a church, a synagogue and a forum for gathering and dialogue. This combined place of worship welcomes people from all walks of life to exchange knowledge and practice faith. A great day out to connect, explore and reflect!

For further information, visit Abrahamic Family House

 

Manarat Al Saadiyat

 

Situated at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s cultural epicentre, Saadiyat Island, Manarat Al Saadiyat serves as a dynamic nexus for art, culture, and community engagement. From exhibitions featuring international and UAE artists to culinary delights and thought-provoking discussions, it offers a rich tapestry of experiences. An enriching cultural experience for all awaits.

For further information, visit Manarat Al Saadiyat

 

Emirates National Auto Museum

 

Nestled in Al Dhafra, a mere 45-minute drive from Abu Dhabi, the Emirates National Auto Museum stands as a testament to automotive marvels. Housing over 200 vehicles from the personal collection of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, this pyramid-shaped marvel boasts off-road beasts, classic American icons, and the renowned Mercedes rainbow collection. Gear up for a great day out!

For further information, visit Visit Abu Dhabi

 

Cultural Foundation

 

The Cultural Foundation is a prominent cultural centre in Abu Dhabi that promotes art, literature, and performing arts. With its exhibition spaces, theatres and libraries, the foundation hosts a year-round series of exhibitions and public programmes.

For more information, visit Cultural Foundation

 

The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi

 

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The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi is a dynamic exhibition space that features a wide range of contemporary artworks and curated exhibitions. The gallery provides a platform for artists and scholars to engage with diverse audiences.

For more information, visit NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

 

Miraj Museum

 

Miraj Museum is a hidden gem that houses an impressive collection of Islamic artifacts and artwork sourced from around the world, including places like Egypt, Syria, Iran, India, Iraq, Kashmir and Russia. Located in Marina Office Park, Near Marina Mall, the museum lets you explore beautifully crafted calligraphy, manuscripts, ceramics and textiles that showcase the artistic heritage of the Islamic world.

For more information, visit Visit Abu Dhabi

 

Salwa Zeidan Gallery

 

Salwa Zeidan Gallery is dedicated to contemporary art from the Middle East and beyond. The gallery showcases a diverse range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures and installations by established and emerging artists. Located at the Millenium Capital Gate, the gallery features artworks that bare two common traits: minimalist vision and sensibility.

For more information, visit Salwa Zeidan Gallery

 

Women’s Handicraft Centre

 

The Women’s Handicraft Centre in Al Mushrif celebrates the traditional crafts and skills of Emirati women. Visitors can explore an array of handmade products created by local artisans.

For more information, call 02 447 6645

 

Maritime Museum

 

The Maritime Museum, situated near Khalifa Park’s main entrance, offers a captivating journey through Abu Dhabi’s history. The tour commences with an informative video in a classroom setting, providing insights into the city’s evolution. A guided ride then traverses through Abu Dhabi’s past, from its origins to modern times, with a voice system guiding each car. Following the tour, visitors can explore the aquarium’s diverse exhibits.

For further information, contact Khalifa Park

 

421 Art Campus

 

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Situated in Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed, the 421 Art Campus hosts a diverse array of exhibitions, talks, workshops, and events throughout the year. Collaborating with local and international partners, 421 engages children, students, educators, and creative professionals in various artistic and creative endeavors. You can also pay a visit to it yourself to check out its latest offerings!

For further information, visit 421.online

 

Etihad Modern Art Gallery

 

Perhaps not as well-known as other popular art galleries in the city, a visit to the Etihad Modern Art Gallery is still well worth making. Offering a vibrant art space and hosting local and international artists, it is at the heart of the emerging art scene in Abu Dhabi.

For further information, visit Etihad Modern Art

 

COMING SOON

 

Zayed National Museum

 

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Zayed National Museum, currently under construction, is a highly anticipated cultural landmark dedicated to the life and legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Located at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island Cultural District, the museum will showcase Sheikh Zayed’s vision, achievements and contributions to the nation.

For more information, visit Abu Dhabi Culture

 

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

 

Set to become an architectural marvel on Saadiyat Island, this world-class museum is dedicated to contemporary art and culture. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island will feature a diverse collection of artworks and host exhibitions that celebrate artistic creativity. Currently under construction, the museum is expected to open in 2025.

For more information, visit Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

 

Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi

 

The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi offers a fascinating journey through time and space, from the beginning of the universe to a thought-provoking perspective into our Earth’s future. Located in Saadiyat Cultural District, the museum will also feature some of the rarest natural history specimens ever found on the planet. The museum is currently under construction and will open in 2025.

For more information, visit Abu Dhabi Culture

 

teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi

 

Located within Saadiyat Cultural District, the multi-sensory teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi art experience will house large-scale immersive artwork spaces created by the globally acclaimed and interdisciplinary Tokyo-based art collective teamLab, offering inspirational spaces at the intersection of art and technology, igniting curiosity, imagination, and creativity in all who visit. Take a trip into the future!

For further information, visit teamLab Phenomena

AL AIN

 

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Al Ain Classic Cars Museum

 

Step into the world of automotive history and explore a remarkable collection of vintage and classic cars at the Al Ain Classic Cars Museum. Located in the Ain Al Fida Complex, the museum showcases the evolution of automobile design and technology.

For more information, visit Al Ain Classic Cars Museum

 

Al Ain Museum

 

With its diverse exhibits and artifacts, the Al Ain Museum offers insights into the region’s history, archaeology and traditional way of life. Discover the rich heritage and cultural traditions of Al Ain  and explore exhibits that highlight the city’s evolution, from prehistoric times to the present.

For more information, visit Abu Dhabi Culture

 

Al Ain Palace Museum

 

Al Ain Palace Museum offers a unique opportunity to step inside the former residence of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE. Experience the elegance of Emirati royal life as you explore the beautifully preserved rooms and majestic halls. Discover the personal artifacts and photographs that offer a glimpse into the life of the UAE’s visionary leader.

For more information, visit DCT

 

Al Jahili Fort

 

This captivating historical landmark stands as a testament to Al Ain’s rich heritage. One of the largest forts in the UAE, Al Jahili showcases exhibitions that reflect the importance of Al Ain to Abu Dhabi’s ruling family and the nation’s history.

For more information, Abu Dhabi Culture

 

Al Qattara Arts Centre

 

Located in the heart of Al Ain, Al Qattara Arts Centre displays art by Emirati and UAE-based artists. Archoloagical findings from theIron Age are on permanent display in the Qattara Archaeological Basement. The centre also has a Dry Studio for music and handicrafts classes, and a Wet Studio for drawing and painting classes. There is also a Pottery Studio and a Calligraphy Studio. Opening hours are from 9am to 8pm.

For more information, visit Abu Dhabi Culture

 

Qasr Al Muwaiji

 

Located at the western approach to Al Ain city, Qasr Al Muwaiji is a historic fort and museum that offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of the UAE. It served as the home and administrative base for the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, when he became the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Ain Region in 1946. Representing a fine example of early 20th century mudbrick architecture, there is much to explore and learn about the cultural significance of this architectural gem.

For more information, visit Abu Dhabi Culture

 

DUBAI

 

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Museum of the Future

 

The Museum of the Future is a groundbreaking institution that explores cutting-edge technologies and their potential impact on society. Have fun and learn through interactive displays, innovative exhibits and immersive experiences that envision the possibilities of tomorrow.

For more information, visit Museum of the Future

 

Expo 2020 Dubai Museum

 

The newest addition to the list is also one of the most exciting! Explore the new Dubai museum and the city’s three Stories of Nations exhibitions alongside other attractions including Alif, Terra, the Women’s and Vision Pavilions, and Garden in the Sky. The Expo 2020 Dubai Museum features mixed media exhibits and interactive content for young visitors, focusing on UAE’s first foray into World Expos in the 1970s, Expo 2020’s inception and bid, masterplan design and site construction, the challenges of the pandemic and postponement, opening ceremony and the six-month event.

For more information, visit Expo 2020 Dubai Museum

 

Pearl Museum Emirates NBD

 

Thanks to the foresight and generosity of Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais, a prominent pearl trader in the 1940s and 50s and his son, Sultan Al Owais, you can explore many of these exquisite natural wonders on display at the Emirates NBD Pearl Museum. In addition to examples of magnificent jewellery, the museum also celebrates the lives of the divers and sailors by displaying the instruments and tools they used to harvest and ship the precious cargo.

For more information, visit Pearl Museum Emirates NBD

 

Dubai Police Museum

 

If you’re interested in the city’s police force, it is definitely worth visiting the Dubai Police Museum. Opened in 1987, the museum showcases the development and progress of the city’s law enforcement. The museum aims to help the police build better relationships with the public, document their achievements, as well as educate the public on how law and order is maintained in the city. There are three halls, filled with old photographs, exhibits, weapons and equipment.

For more information, visit Dubai Police Museum

 

Al Ahmadiya School

 

One of Dubai’s oldest educational institutions, Al Ahmadiya School lets you immerse yourself in the traditional Emirati educational experience and explore the classrooms, courtyard and historical exhibits. Founded in 1912, the school was restored in 1994 and turned into a museum.

For more information, visit Dubai Culture

 

Al Shindagha Museum

 

Located in Al Shindagha neighbourhood, Al Shindagha Museum lets you discover the vibrant history and culture of Dubai and its maritime traditions through engaging displays, interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations.

For more information, visit Al Shindagha Museum

 

Bait Al Banat Women’s Museum

 

Celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Emirati women at Bait Al Banat Women’s Museum. Located in the old Gold Souq in Deira, this unique museum showcases the achievements of women in various fields, offering an inspiring journey of empowerment.

For more information, visit Women Museum

 

Coffee Museum

 

Located in the Al Fahidi neighbourhood in Bur Dubai, the Coffee Museum explores the origins, history and cultural significance of the beloved beverage through informative exhibits and sensory experiences.

For more information, visit Coffee Museum

 

Crossroad of Civilizations Museum

 

Embark on a captivating journey through time at the Crossroad of Civilizations Museum, located at the Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum House on Al Khaleej Road. Uncover the rich archaeological discoveries from the UAE and the wider region, providing insights into the ancient civilizations that shaped our world.

For more information, visit The Museum

 

Dubai Municipality Museum

 

Experience the evolution of Dubai’s urban development and infrastructure at the Dubai Municipality Museum in Deira. Learn more about the city’s progress through interactive displays, models, and informative exhibits.

For more information, visit Dubai Municipality

 

Dubai Museum

 

Step into Dubai’s history and heritage at the Dubai Museum, housed within the historic Al Fahidi Fort. Engage in captivating displays and artifacts that narrate Dubai’s transformation from a humble fishing village to a global metropolis.

For more information, visit Dubai Culture

 

Etihad Museum

 

The museum offers insights about the birth of the UAE and its journey to nationhood. Located in 1 Jumeirah St in Al Mina area, the Etihad Museum engages visitors with immersive exhibits, multimedia presentations and archival materials that tell the story of the country’s formation.

For more information, visit Etihad Museum Dubai

 

Emirates Soil Museum

 

There’s much to learn about the fascinating world beneath our feet at the Emirates Soil Museum in Academic City. Learn about the importance of soil in agriculture, conservation and sustainability through informative displays and educational programmes.

For more information, visit Emirates Soil Museum

 

Heritage Village

 

Step back in time at the Heritage Village, an enchanting open-air museum that offers a glimpse into Dubai’s rich cultural heritage. Located in Al Shindagha Historical Neighborhood, close to the Diving Village, the Heritage Village explores traditional architecture, artisanal crafts and the Bedouin way of life.

 

History of Cinema Museum

 

The History of Cinema Museum (HOC) in Dubai takes you on a journey through the evolution of cinema. Discover the milestones, technological advancements and iconic films that have shaped the world of motion pictures.

For more information, visit History of Cinema Museum

 

House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum

 

A historic residence that has been transformed into a museum, the House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum offers unique insights about Dubai’s royal family. Located along the Dubai Creek in the Al Shindagha area, the House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum features traditional Arabian architecture, artifacts and photographs showcasing the city’s past.

For more information, visit Dubai Culture

 

Jameel Arts Centre

 

A contemporary art centre that features rotating exhibitions, installations and performances. Jameel Arts Centre engages visitors with thought-provoking artworks from the Middle East and beyond. Visitors can also participate in various cultural programmes and workshops.

For more information, visit Jameel Arts Centre

 

Museum of Illusions

 

Step into a world of optical illusions and mind-bending exhibits at the Museum of Illusions in Al Seef along the Dubai Creek. Challenge your perception, snap quirky photos and discover the wonders of visual trickery at this truly unique museum.

For more information, visit Museum of Illusions

 

Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili

 

Pay homage to the renowned Emirati poet, Al Oqaili, at the Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili. Located in Deira, the museum encourages you to delve into his life, literary works and contributions to Emirati culture through displays, manuscripts, and multimedia presentations.

For more information, visit Dubai Culture

 

Naif Museum

 

Naif Museum is a cultural gem that preserves the heritage of Dubai’s Naif Fort. A former police headquarters and prison dating back to 1939, the museum transports you to a bygone era and provides interesting insights about the development of Dubai’s police force. Located in one of the wings of Naif Police Station, the museum offers a glimpse of how the city has evolved through artifacts, photographs and interactive displays.

For more information, visit Dubai Culture

 

OliOli

 

Designed for young explorers, OliOli is an interactive children’s museum that combines learning with play. With its imaginative exhibits and hands-on activities, children can unleash their creativity, curiosity and problem-solving skills in a stimulating environment.

For more information, visit OliOli

 

Salsali Private Museum

 

Salsali Private Museum is a hidden gem dedicated to contemporary art. The museum features a carefully curated collection of international contemporary artworks, providing a unique space for artistic exploration.

For more information, visit Salsali Private Museum

 

Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum

 

Step into the world of archaeology at Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum, located in the Shindagha Historic District. This museum tells the story of one of the most exciting and mysterious archaeological sites yet discovered in the emirate, featuring fascinating artifacts and discoveries from the Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site.

For more information, visit Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum

 

SHARJAH

 

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Al Mahatta Museum

 

The museum sits on the site of the first airport in the region, and fittingly invites visitors to embark on a journey into aviation history. Located in Al Mahatta area, the museum is housed in a renovated airport building and offers insights into the region’s early aviation industry. Explore vintage aircraft, photographs, and artifacts that highlight the development of aviation in the UAE.

For more information, visit Sharjah Museums

 

Bait Al Naboodah

 

Experience the traditional Emirati way of life at Bait Al Naboodah, located in Al Mareija area in the heart of Sharjah. This restored heritage house in Sharjah provides a glimpse into the past, showcasing the architecture, furnishings, and cultural artifacts of a prominent Emirati family. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a bygone era and learn about Emirati heritage.

For more information, visit Sharjah Museums

 

Mleiha Archaeological Centre

 

Uncover the secrets of the ancient civilizations that once thrived in the Mleiha region at the Mleiha Archaeological Centre. Located deep into the deserts of Sharjah, the museum offers fascinating insights into the archaeological discoveries of the area, including artifacts, fossils, and interactive exhibits.

For more information, visit Mleiha

 

Maritime Museum

 

Immerse yourself in the maritime heritage of the UAE at the Maritime Museum, located in Al Khan, close to the Sharjah Aquarium. The museum showcases the seafaring traditions, boat-building techniques and the historical significance of maritime trade routes.

For more information, visit Sharjah Museums

 

Sharjah Archaeology Museum

 

Step into the ancient past at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum. Nestled in Sharjah’s Al Abar area, the museum offers a diverse range of archaeological artifacts, including pottery, tools, and jewellery, providing insights into the region’s prehistoric and ancient civilizations.

For more information, visit Sharjah Museums

 

Sharjah Art Museum

 

Dive into the vibrant world of art and creativity at the Sharjah Art Museum. Located in the Arts Area, Al-Shuwaihean, in the Heart of Sharjah, the museum showcases a vast collection of contemporary and traditional artworks from the Arab world and beyond.

For more information, visit Sharjah Art Museum

 

Sharjah Calligraphy Museum

 

Celebrate the beauty and intricate art of calligraphy and its cultural significance through a collection of masterpieces and interactive displays at the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum. Located in Calligraphy Square, Heart of Sharjah, the museum presents diverse scripts and styles of calligraphy from around the world.

For more information, visit Sharjah Museums

 

Sharjah Classic Car Museum

 

If vintage automobile is your thing, you need to pay a visit to the Sharjah Classic Car Museum. Located on Airport Road, next to Sharjah International Airport, the museum boasts a remarkable collection of classic cars, from antique models to iconic sports cars. It’s hard not to admire the craftsmanship, design and engineering of these timeless automotive treasures.

For more information, visit visitsharjah.com/en/activities/family/sharjah-classic-car-museum

 

Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn Sharjah)

 

Explore the rich history of Sharjah at the Sharjah Fort, also known as Al Hisn Sharjah. Located in the Heart of Sharjah, Al Shuwaihen area, the historical fortress offers a glimpse of what was life in Sharjah two centuries ago, through its well-preserved architecture and informative exhibits.

For more information, visit Sharjah Museums

 

AJMAN

 

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Ajman Museum

 

Housed within a restored fort, the Ajman Museum takes visitors on a captivating exploration of the city’s history and cultural traditions. The museum presents archaeological discoveries and exhibits that shed light on Ajman’s evolution.

For more information, visit Visit Ajman

 

FUJAIRAH

 

Fujairah Museum

 

Discover the rich history and heritage of Fujairah with exhibits that showcase archaeological findings, traditional crafts and cultural artifacts. From ancient artifacts to contemporary displays, the Fujairah Museum offers a fascinating journey through time.

 

RAS AL KHAIMAH

 

 

National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah

 

Located in a centuries-old fort, the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah offers a comprehensive insight into the region’s history, culture and traditions. From archaeological artifacts to interactive displays, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Ras Al Khaimah’s past.

For more information, visit RAK Heritage

 

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