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Museums in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Sunday 24 March 2019 (UAE)   

Museums in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

List of museums in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) information and guide to museums and historical places in Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Ain, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, RAK, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, UAQ.

Museums in Abu Dhabi

  • ADIPEC Oil and Gas Museum (Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) - temporary (but a more permanent establishment might be under consideration) museum during the ADIPEC 2012 event from 11-14 November at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). Museum will be a chronological study of the UAE oil and gas industry from 1939 to the present day. Exhibits include archived photographs and films, engineering components and machinery, a tribute to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (Founder of the UAE). Entry free to ADIPEC participants and visitors. Reported by WAM 27 May 2012.
  • Al Muraykhi House - on Delma Island, small museum open 0800-1600 Sat-Thu, free entry. A long swim or short flight from the mainland.
  • Delma Island Museum (Dalma Island) - see Al Muraykhi House.
  • Maritime Heritage Museum - in Khalifa Park.
  • Qasr Al Hosn Palace or Fort - see Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority.
  • UAE Central Bank Museum of Coins and Notes - official opening date 17 Dec 2013 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the UAE Central Bank (CB), located at CB headquarters office (on Bainunah St, Baynunah St, 34th St?). Displays UAE currency notes and coins, commemorative coins, currencies of other countries, cash counting and sorting machines used by the UAE Central Bank, and a section for displays of private currency collections. Contact details and opening hours not found or supplied, unknown if museum is open to the general public, check UAE Central Bank website at www.centralbank.ae to see if it has been updated with museum information (nothing found 20 Dec 2013).

Saadiyat Island Cultural District

See Saadiyat Island Cultural District for more details

  • Guggenheim Abu Dhabi - modern art museum
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi - art museum
  • Maritime Museum
  • Manarat Al Saadiyat - not so much a museum but a visitor and exhibition center about Saadiyat Island, located in the future Saadiyat Island Cultural District.
  • Zayed National Museum (or Sheikh Zayed National Museum)

Museums in Ajman

Ajman Museum
  • Ajman Museum in the Ajman Fort at the Museum Roundabout.
  • Open Saturday to Thursday 0900-1300 and 1600-2100. Closed Fridays.
  • Postal address: Ajman Museum, PO Box 2829, Ajman, UAE. Tel +971-6-7423824 or +971-6-7428222, fax +971-6-741202

Museums in Al Ain (part of Abu Dhabi emirate)

  • Al Ain National Museum - location adjacent the Sultan Fort (Eastern Fort). First opened in 1971, expansion plans announced January 2012 with new building expected to be complete by 2015 or 2016. Opening times 0800-1930 Sat, Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu; 1500-1930 Fri; closed Mon. Admission fees AED 3 (adults), AED 1 (children under 10). Telephone +971-3-7641595, website www.aam.gov.ae (not available?).
  • Al Ain Palace Museum (Qasr Al Ain Museum, Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum) - on the road to Sanaya (Industrial Area). Built in 1937 (or 1910 according to some sources) as a home for Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, converted into a museum in 1998 and officially opened in 2001 with displays related to the Abu Dhabi royal family. Opening hours 0830-1930 Sat-Thu (closed Mon) and 1500-1930 on Fri. Tel +971-3-7517755. Entry free.
  • Hili Archeological Park - site with remains from the Bronze age and Iron age.
  • The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) submitted an application in February 2008 to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for Al Ain to be declared a World Heritage Site. Decision expected mid-2011.
Museum of Living Resources - Al Ain Natural History Museum
  • Museum of Living Resources (MLR) location at the UAE University (UAEU) Biology Department at the Jimi Campus.
  • Official opening date to the public in May 2010 although was first established in 1989.
  • Contents include over 100 vertebrate specimens, and a herbarium with 10,000 plant specimens, including many native UAE plants.
  • The museum also has a rare fossil cast of an Archaeopteryx from the late Jurassic period (145-150 million years ago), cast from the original fossil found in southern Germany.
  • Website www.cos.uaeu.ac.ae/departments/biology/biology_museum/, tel +971-3-7133381, fax +971-3-7671291, email biol_mlr@uaeu.ac.ae. Another tel number is +971-3-7134224.
  • Opening times Sunday to Thursday 0800-1400, closed Friday and Saturday.
  • Museum management (as of May 2010): Dr Taoufik Ksiksi (Manager of Plant Sector), Dr Sabir Muzaffar (Manager of Animal Sector), Dr Nael Fawzy (Permanent Museum Specialist).

Museums in Dubai

  • Al Ahmadiya School - in Deira
  • Al Aqaili Museum - new museum in 2012 (15th museum in Dubai) dedicated to Emirati poet Mubarak Al Aqaili, in his old house in Deira (Gulf News 18 May 2012).
  • Archaeological Site in Al Quoz
  • Archaeological Site in Jumeirah 2
  • Beit al Banat museum (House of Girls) - new museum highlighting the lives and achievements of notable Emirati women opening in the Gold Souk (Souq) in late 2011. Founder is Dr Rafia Ghubash. Reported in The National 15 April 2011, but story subsequently removed?
  • Camel Museum - Shindagha
  • Cricket Museum - private, not open to the public? In Jumeirah, a collection of cricket memorabilia belonging to Mr Shyam Bhatia. Open for school group visits by prior arrangement.
  • Dubai Coffee Museum - in Al Fahidi Historical Area (Bastakiya), opening mid to late 2014 (October 2014?). Website www.coffeemuseum.ae (under construction), email info@coffeemuseum.ae. Founded and operated by Easternmen & Co.
  • Dubai Metro art museum project - see below.
  • Dubai Museum - in Bur Dubai near the Bastakiya art quarter Dubai, highly recommended for a visit.
  • Dubai Police Museum
  • Heritage House - in Deira
  • Horse Museum - Shindagha
  • Pearl Museum - collection of pearls donated by Sultan Al Owais (lived from 1925-2000), and housed in a museum at Emirates NBD bank headquarters. Visits by appointment only? Website www.pearlmuseum.ae. Another Dubai Pearl Museum might be planned by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) (Emirates Today 24 April 2007).
  • Shaikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
  • Traditional Architecture Museum
  • Women's Museum of the United Arab Emirates - founded by Professor Rafia Obaid Ghubash, former president of the Arabian Gulf University (in Bahrain). The museum highlights historical and cultural roles of women in UAE society, and highlights the lives of prominent women in the UAE. Located in Bait Al Banat ("House of Girls") in the Deira Gold Souk area. Banat Bu Ghanem Café at the entrance to the museum. Opening date in 2011 (not supplied)? Contact details - PO Box 1086 Dubai UAE, landline telephone not supplied, email woman@womenmuseumuae.com, website www.womenmuseumuae.com. Opening times, entrance fees not supplied.

New museums in Dubai

Khaleej Times reported 07 November 2011 that Dubai would have 10 new museums by 2015 including:

  • Mubarak Al Aqaili museum to open by end 2012. Al Aqaili was an Emirati poet who lived from 1880-1954. The museum will be in his old house in Al Ras, Deira.
  • Traditional Emirati clothing museum - expected to open in 2012.
  • Other museums showcasing traditional perfumes and other items of significance to the lives of Emiratis.

Planned museums in Dubai

  • Dubai Metro museums - see heading below.
  • Museum of the Future - announced Wed 04 Mar 2015. Displays and exhibitions changing on a 6 month cycle with a goal "... to always be 10 years ahead of today." Project cost $136 million or $500 million (both figures reported, second one might have been a typo for AED 500 million), opening date planned for 2017. Location near Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road.
  • Natural history museum or earth science museum? Planned as part of the "Restless Planet" dinosaur theme park in the City of Arabia project in Dubai? Also a planetarium?

Dubai Metro Museum project

Dubai Metro art museums - announced 17 Mar 2014, the Dubai Metro Museum project will install art and cultural works in metro stations around Dubai from Mar 2014 to Mar 2015. The first 4 museum themes announced are (which stations were not named).

  • Islamic Art and Arabic Calligraphy Museum - displaying historical manuscripts, ceramics, jewellery, calligraphy paintings from 1400 years of Islamic history.
  • Inventions Museum - interactive and educational displays of inventions from fields including astronomy, engineering, geography, mathematics, medicine.
  • Contemporary Art Museum - collection of modern art from contemporary artists including paintings, designs, graphic illustrations, and models.
  • Visual Art Museum - contemporary visual art including movies, documentaries, cultural and artistic multimedia creations.

Dubai Heritage Sites

Operated by Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai

  • Al Ahmadiah School (Al Ahmadiyah School), Deira
  • Diving Village
  • Dubai Museum
  • Hatta Heritage Village
  • Heritage House
  • Heritage Village
  • Naif Museum
  • Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
  • Umm Al Shief Majlis

Museums in Fujairah

  • Fujairah Museum

Museums in Hatta (part of Dubai emirate)

  • Hatta Heritage Village

Museums in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK)

  • Ras Al Khaimah Museum (RAK National Museum)
  • RAK Pearl Museum - opened November 2011? Located on the Al Qawassim Corniche. Owned by RAK Pearls Holding. Displays pearls and items from pearl diving history in the UAE. Website www.rakpearls.com/peralmuseum.html.

List of museums in Sharjah

Sharjah Museum opening hours and timings change during Ramadan, see below for details.

  • Al Eslah School Museum
  • Al Mahatta Museum - aviation museum on the site of the first airport in the UAE and the Gulf Region. Open 0800-2000 Sat-Thu, 1600-2000 Fri, admission free for children, AED 5 adults, AED 10 family, parking available, tel +971-6-5733079.
  • Bait Al Nahbooda (Al Naboodah).
  • Bait Khalid Bin Ibrahim
  • Bait Shaikh Saeed Bin Hamed Al Qasimi (Al Qassimi).
  • Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre of Gulf Studies - collection of coins, maps, photographs, paintings of the UAE region (from before the establishment of the UAE). Also models of dhows (traditional sailing boats) from the region. Six sections: Hall of the Personal Collection of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Hall of Personal Photographs, Archive Library, History of the Gulf through maps, Historical Films Hall, Life in the Gulf Hall. Located at the entrance to Sharjah University City from the Sharjah Airport Road. Opened on 26 April 2007. Opening times 0900-1600 Sunday to Thursday. Tel +971-6-5585855, email info@dsqc.ae, website www.dsqc.ae.
  • Majlis Al Madifaa (Al Madifah).
  • Maraya Art Centre - part of Al Qasba.
  • Sharjah Aquarium - not really a museum but listed as part of the Sharjah Museums collection from the Sharjah Museums Department
  • Sharjah Archaeology Museum - open 0900-1300 & 1700-2000 Sat & Mon-Thu, 1700-2000 Fri, closed Sun, admission free for children, AED 5 adults, AED 10 family, parking available, tel +971-6-5665466
  • Sharjah Art Museum and Fine Art Library, open 0800-2000 Sat-Thu, 1600-2000 Fri, entry free, parking available underground, tel +971-6-5688222.
  • Sharjah Calligraphy Museum
  • Sharjah Discovery Center
  • Sharjah Heritage Museum - open 0800-2000 Sat-Thu, 1600-2000 Fri, admission free for children, AED 5 adults, AED 10 family, tel +971-6-5680006, parking available. Closed during 2010-2012. Reopened 22 May 2012. Has 6 galleries:
    1. Landscape depicting the natural environment of Sharjah
    2. Lifestyle showcasing social and religious values of the UAE
    3. Celebration - depicting UAE heritage and traditions from special occasions (such as Hag Al Laila, Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha), including clothing and musical instruments
    4. Livelihood - exhibits of economic activities (including textiles, herbs, herbal medicines and currencies, international trade, import and export, goldsmithing, women in trade, domestic trade, transportation)
    5. Traditional Knowledge - traditional activities (including traditional medicine, astrological tracking methods)
    6. Oral Traditions - interactive gallery of proverbs, riddles, and children's stories.
  • Sharjah Hisn
  • Sharjah Maritime Museum
  • Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation - open 0800-2000 Sat-Thu, 1600-2000 Fri, admission free for children, AED 5 adults, AED 10 family, free entry during Ramadan, tel +971-6-5655455. Parking area available outside museum.
  • Sharjah Natural History and Botanical Museum (and Arabian Wildlife Centre) - Sharjah Airport Road (near Sharjah Airport, interchange 8), about 25 km from central Sharjah.
  • Sharjah Science Museum - opening date 17 April 1996. Interactive exhibits and displays for children (but adults can probably join in). Science Magic Show. "Einstein is Here" room. Planetarium with 3 displays - Sharjah night sky, solar system, sky at night. Demonstration hall with a variety of shows. Learning Center with several learning areas - the Discovery Area, the Science Lab, the Computer Lab. School curriculum based workshops available for school and class groups.

Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)

  • 24 October 2011 - new Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) headquarters inaugurated in the Al Layyah area (press release).
  • The Sharjah Museum Department (SMD) was established in in 2006 by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi to operate museums in Sharjah, and to promote arts, heritage and culture of Sharjah.
  • Director General of the SMD is Manal Ataya (11 August 2010 information).
  • As of 24 October 2011, SMD manages 17 museums and other facilities in Sharjah - Al Eslah School Museum, Al Mahatta Museum, Bait Al Naboodah, Bait Khalid Bin Ibrahim, Bait Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamed Al Qasimi, Majilis Al Madifaa, Sharjah Aquarium, Sharjah Archaeology Museum, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, Sharjah Car Museum, Sharjah Discovery Centre, Sharjah Heritage Museum, Sharjah Hisn Museum, Sharjah Maritime Museum, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Science Museum.

Ramadan 2010 hours for Sharjah Museums

  • Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) head office 0830-1330 Sunday to Thursday (11 Aug 2010 press release).
  • 0900-1400 Saturday to Thursday, and 2100-2300 Saturday to Friday for: Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Aquarium, Sharjah Maritime Museum, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah Museum for Arabic Contemporary Art.
  • Sharjah Aquarium will be closed on Sunday.
  • Sharjah Natural History and Botanical Museum open 0930-1330 daily except Tuesdays (closed) and Fridays (closed).
  • Bait Khalid bin Ibrahim, Majlis Al Midfaa, Al Eslah School Museum, Bait Al Naboodah, Sharjah Hisn, Al Mahatta Museum, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, Sharjah Archaeology Museum, Sharjah Science Museum, Sharjah Discovery Centre, Sharjah Classic Car Museum, Bait Sheikh Said Bin Hamad Al Qassimi (Kalba), and any other Sharjah museums will have opening times 0900-1400 Saturday to Thursday, closed Fridays.

Museums in Umm Al Quwain (UAQ)

  • Umm Al Quwain Museum
Last update Thursday 24-Mar-2016. Page development 4L 5C.
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Abu Dhabi AUH ABD ADB, Ajman AJM, Al Ain AAN, Dubai DXB, Fujairah FUJ, Ras Al Khaimah RAK, Sharjah SHJ, Umm Al Quwain UAQ

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