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Five must see Dubai museums for culture vultures

Dubai is a city of bright lights, glitz and glamour, but beyond its futuristic skyscrapers and designer boutiques lies a more traditional side to the city.

The Middle Eastern metropolis mainly has the UAE’s oil revolution to thank for its vast wealth, but this ancient settlement goes back centuries.

Fortunately, remnants of Dubai’s past still remain in the city’s many museums, many of which cost very little to visit. Read on to find out more about the five best Dubai museums…

1. The Dubai Museum – Al Fahidi Fort, Deira

Situated in the historic Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum is one of the city’s most famed cultural attractions with permanent exhibitions that reflect the UAE’s rich heritage.

The fort itself was built in 1787 and is Dubai’s oldest existing building – the building’s original cannons and turrets are still on show.

So, why visit the Dubai Museum? This excellent attraction is a must-see during holidays to Dubai for it’s ancient artifacts, antiquities and representations of life in the UAE before the oil boom.

How much is entry to the Dubai Museum?

Entry to the Dubai Museum is just three UAE dirhams (AED) for adults and one for a child, which works out at about approximately 57p and 19p.

The cost of museum entry for two adults and two children works out at less than two pounds – perfect if you’re planning a family holiday to Dubai and want to take in the city’s rich culture.

Where is the Dubai Museum?

The museum is located near the residential district of Deira, about 45 minutes from the Dubai Marina, and can be reached by taking the metro to Al Fahidi station.

2. Al Mahatta Museum – Sharjah

Take a short taxi ride to the neighbouring Emirate of Sharjah and you’ll soon discover the Al Mahatta Museum.

Built in 1932, this former airport – the UAE’s first – now holds a rare collection of vintage aircraft and moon landing equipment.

The museum is famed for its restored planes and aviation exhibitions, which includes both jets and passenger planes.

How much is entry to the Al Mahatta Museum? Much like the Dubai Museum, the Al Mahatta museum offers exceptional value for money. Children go free and adults need only pay 5 AED.

Where is the Al Mahatta Museum? The museum is just a 30 minute taxi ride from the Dubai Marina. Some hotels even operate shuttle services to and from Sharjah.

3.Heritage House – Al Ras, Deira

Heritage House is one of many unique cultural attractions in Dubai.

Located near the residential district of Deira, this captivating residence gives holidaymakers a historical insight into Dubai life.

The museum regularly receives great reviews from Dubai travellers and is a brilliant alternative to the city’s busiest tourist traps.

You’ll find everything from traditional cosmetics to early cooking equipment and toys in this 19th century home, which once belonged to a wealthy pearl merchant.

How much is entry to the Heritage House?

Entry to the Heritage House is completely free.

Where is the Heritage House?

The Heritage House is located in the historic suburb of Deira, a short while away from the centre of Dubai.

Why not combine your trip with a visit to the nearby Dubai Museum?

4. Al Fahidi Historic District – Bastakia

Not so much a museum, more of a historical district. Al Fahidi’s glorious historic neighbourhood often appears on many Dubai to do lists.

Built in the 1900s, this once bustling neighbourhood was built by Persian merchants and reflects country’s stunning architecture and design.

The district is open to the public and entry is free, but walking tours do also take place if you’d like a more depth insight into the area.

Developers are currently building a tourist development next to the site, which is due for completion in 2017.

How much is entry to the Al Fahidi Historic District?

Entry is free and open to all members of the public.

Where is the Al Fahidi Historic District?

The area is easily accessible by taking a metro train to Al Fahidi station.


5. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House – Al Shindagha

If you’re looking for Dubai cultural sights, it’s worth taking a trip to the beautiful Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House in the Al Shindagha district of Dubai.

Like many museums in Dubai, the house gives an overview into Dubai during the early 20th century.

Named after the then ruling sheikh, the palace fortress is home to a number of captivating relics, artwork and photographs which shed light on Dubai’s history and the royal family.

How much is entry to the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House?

The museum is one of Dubai’s most low-cost attractions at three UAE dirhams for adults and one UAE dirham for children under six.

Where is the Al Fahidi Historic District?

Dubai boasts excellent transport links from the city’s popular tourist resorts to the museum. The nearest metro station is Ghubaiba.

Planning to book your dream holiday to Dubai? You’ll find plenty of deals on Dubai hotels and flights on our website, as well as a number of all inclusive Dubai package deals.

For more ideas on what to get up to during your Middle Eastern break, check out our blog.