Sharjah Art Museum
Sharjah Art Museum hosts local and international exhibitions, cultural activities and artistic and educational workshops throughout the year and has no entry fee. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Sharjah Museums Authority official website -

Dubai: Visiting a museum isn’t only about understanding the past, but it also provides you an introduction into a country’s rich culture and art heritage. The UAE has several museums and cultural centres and some of them are also free to visit. Here is all you need to know.

1. Dubai Police Museum

Step back in time and witness the evolution of Dubai's police force at the Dubai Police Museum. Opened in 1987, the museum showcases the development and progress of the city’s law enforcement. The museum has three halls, filled with old photographs, exhibits, weapons and equipment.

Some of the weapons on display date back to 1956, when Dubai’s police force was originally formed. Handmade items by prisoners are also on display.

Prior booking is a must: To visit the museum, you need to have a permit. You can apply for the permit through the Dubai Police website – or the ‘Dubai Police’ mobile app, available for Apple, Android and Huawei devices.

To book your visit, go to the ‘Services’ and then the ‘Permits’ category. Scroll down and select the ‘Police Museum Visit Permit’ service. Then, fill in a form which includes your name, email address, and mobile number. Once that is complete, you will receive a confirmation email from Dubai Police.


Monday to Thursday - 9am to 1pm.
Friday - 9am to 11.30am
Closed on Saturday and Sunday.


Umm Suqeim Street, Al Sufouh 1, Dubai Police Academy.

2. Sharjah Art Museum

Sharjah Art Museum first opened its doors on April 17, 1997, and holds a variety of temporary exhibitions and art events. The three-storey building is one of the largest art exhibitions in the Gulf region and contains more than 500 artworks by renowned artists from the UAE and the Arab world, who have contributed to the field of arts in the region.


The museum is located in the Arts Area, Al- Shuwaihiyeen, near Al-Corniche post office .

Sharjah Museum Authority
Sharjah Art Museum Image Credit: Sharjah Museum Authority

Opening hours:

Saturday to Thursday – 8am to 8pm
Friday – 4pm to 8pm

3. Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili

On the edge of the Spice Souq in Deira is a heritage home dating back to 1923, which has now been converted into a museum.

The beautifully restored heritage house, once home to a celebrated Arabic poet, Mubarak bin Hamad Al Oqaili.

According to Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the museum is the former home of Saudi-born poet, Mubarak bin Hamad bin Mubarak Al Manea Al Oqaili, one of the most important Arabic classical poets in history. The house was built from coral, stone, plaster, sandalwood, teakwood and the fronds and trunks of palm trees.

The Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili offers a glimpse into his life and works. Peruse a collection of his original manuscripts and poems, and explore exhibits showcasing his personal belongings and writings about him.


Al Ras, near Deira Spice Souq.


Monday to Friday - 8am to 11.30am.
Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili
Image Credit: Dubai Culture

4. Coffee Museum Dubai

Hidden inside the narrow lanes of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is a museum dedicated to origin of coffee, dating all the way back to an Ethopian Legend, Kaldi, a goat herder who is believed to have discovered the potential of coffee beans.

Coffee Museum Dubai also showcases the celebration of coffee culture across the globe, as well as the Arabic traditions.


Villa 44, Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood in Bastakiya.


• Sunday to Thursday – 9am to 5pm
• Friday – closed

tab Dubai Coffee Museum facebook-1559543954553
Coffee Museum in Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood Image Credit: Supplied

5. Hatta Heritage Village

Opened in 2001, the Hatta Heritage Village has been preserved and reconstructed by the Dubai government to showcase what rural life looked like centuries ago. The village brings to life Dubai’s heritage, with reconstructed huts and buildings selling traditional wares.

The Village also showcases the traditions of making jewellery, weaponry, pottery, and utensils using clay, leather and copper that's been mined from the mountains.


Near the Hatta Dam Roundabout, next to the Hatta Watch Tower.


Every day – 4pm to 11pm

reader picture
Hatta Heritage Village Image Credit: Nabil Naz/Gulf News Reader

6. Abu Dhabi's Heritage Village

The heritage village offers a glimpse of Abu Dhabi’s past, with an old souq, mosque and camp modelled on the traditional way of life in the desert. While you are there, you can shop for traditional keepsakes, discover artefacts and watch artisans make pottery and weave fabric on a loom.

The village also includes the Emirates Heritage Club, which hosts workshops for traditional crafts.


Monday to Friday – 9am to 4pm


Near Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Theatre Road, Corniche

UAE Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi
UAE Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Visit Abu Dhabi official website -