Almost 2 years stay here in Dubai and I can’t believe I’ve only visited the infamous Dubai Museum just a few days ago.

I know Dubai nowadays is all about luxury – gigantic malls, impressive cars and lavish lifestyle. But visiting Dubai Museum I’ve learned that Dubai is way more than the grandeur. Dubai is a place rich in history and culture which is worth raving about.

Located at the Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai Museum is the main museum in Dubai which was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. Upon entering, you will be welcomed with a sandy courtyard where you will find examples of the various boats used over time (for transport, fishing, pearl-diving and more), numerous cannons as well as a reconstruction of a traditional Areesh house.

Inside Areesh House

From here you can have a glimpse of the interior design taste of the past

Various weapons of the past, traditional musical instruments and other artifacts.

Start of The Gallery

This is the video room, showing a video, updated in 2007 that depicts Dubai from before the discovery of oil in the 1960s to the current day. Below it there is a map that shows the urban scape of the city growing in sync with the timeline of the video. It also includes several dioramas showing life in the Emirate before the advent of oil, in addition to artifacts from recent discoveries as old as 3000 B.C.

Life-size dioramas of the pre-oil era await behind the next door. A dhow unloading at the model creek-side souq. Moving ahead you will see the shops filled with craftsmen, vendors and buyers. A tailor, a carpenter, an iron smith, a textile vendor, the grocer’s, the Quran school and more. Realistic sounds and life-size videos of craftsmen at work give the impression of a bustling souq.

Look at the vintage Tide branding and packaging. I personally prefer this than the detergent’s current branding. :))

What is Middle East without Dates? :))

and of course Camel.

Depictions of desert life. A date farm, a camel, wild animals, and a Bedouin tent filled with jewelry, trinkets and objects from the daily life of Bedouins. The walls tell about their knowledge of the stars and how they used it to guide their activities.

The pictures above  shows the largest diorama which is all about the sea, with a huge scene of the building of a dhow, scenes of marine life detailing local species, in addition to a collection of sea-faring equipment. You will see how dhows are constructed and about the dangers of the pearl-diving industry – some divers could hold their breathe for up to 4 minutes and they risked jelly-fish stings and more in their pursuit of the tiny little white pearls.

The last diorama features an archaeological site in Al Qusais area that goes back to 3000 BC. There are tombs, an excavated skeleton, and an archaeologist. All the way sounds, visual effects and electronic guides accompany the dioramas. Cabinets filled with archaeological finds from Al Qusais site line the walls next to the excavation scene. Then finally the last track leads to a gallery displaying finds from other sites and historical eras, like the Umayyad site at Jumeirah. You will also see pots, pots and pots. Did I say pots? :))

Cute pens!

Then your last stop will be the gift shop from which you can buy several souvenirs.

Visit the Dubai Museum and learn how this city grew into what we see today. While you’re in the area, a visit to the Bastakiya (Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood) and the Arabian Tea House Cafe (read more about it here) is a must! These places are different stories to be told. :)

Entry fee: 3dhs for adults, 1dhs for children under 10;
Timings: Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 8.30am to 8.30pm, Friday 2.30pm to 8.30pm;
Location: Bur Dubai, 04 353 1862
How to get there:
Take the green line metro and go down at Al Fahidi Metro. It’s walking distance from there. it’s a bit of a walk though. Or from Al fahidi Metro Station, take a cab and ask the driver to drop you off at Dubai Museum. It’s a 10dhs ride.

Disclaimer: some excerpts taken from: http://www.expatwoman.com/dubai/monthly_discover_dubai_Dubai_Top_10_Museums_8471.aspx