Dubai Museum is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort. The building in Bur Dubai was constructed around 1799 and has served as a palace, garrison and prison in the past.
In 1970 it was renovated and became Dubai Museum in 1971, with additional galleries being added in 1995.
The museum houses many exhibits from Dubai's history. There are several static displays showing Dubai life from ages past, including souk, fishing, domestic and desert travel scenes.
Galleries show scenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date farms as well as desert and marine life.
These galleries reflect the nature of the UAE, from the beach to the city and the oasis areas to the nomadic Bedouin culture.
Artifacts from several excavated sites in Dubai date back to the third millennium B.C. The two main excavated sites in Dubai were discovered in Jumeirah and Al Qusais.
The Jumeirah site is not currently open to visitors, but special permission can be granted for archaeologists.
According to May Hamid, researcher at Dubai Museum, the most popular exhibits are housed in the archaeological halls, which also displays artifacts from Al Sufouh and Hatta.
Islamic period discoveries were made at the Jumeirah site, dating back to the 7th century. A total of 50 tombs were found on the left side of the Jima Valley, which dated from 3,000 B.C.
An outside area at the museum recreates a traditional desert house, with seating and sleeping area as well as a kitchen. Ancient dhows lay outside the house, with a collection of shiny bronze cannons and cannon balls.
A video, updated in 2007, depicts Dubai from before the discovery of oil in the 1960s to the current day.
In 2007, Dubai Museum welcomed 1,800 visitors daily, with a 2007 yearly total of 611,840. In March 2008, the Museum had 80,000 visitors. The most popular times are from August to April.
Opening hours: 8:30am - 8:30pm, Saturday to Thursday. 2:30pm to 8:30pm on Friday.
Admission: Dh3 for children from 6 years old and adults. Dh1 for children unde six years old.