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
If you are interested in the city’s police force, it is worth visiting 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.
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-story 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 .
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.
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. According to Visit Dubai, the house was built from coral, stone, plaster, sandalwood, teakwood and the fronds and trunks of palm trees.
The building was restored by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and turned into a museum, which is split into nine main wings covering Al Oqaili’s life, poetry, manuscripts, and writings about the poet by the people that knew him.
Visitors can read a collection of the poet’s original works, some of which are written in his own handwriting, and look at the poet’s personal items such as his pen, furniture and more.
Al Ras, near Deira Spice Souq.
Monday to Friday - 8am to 11.30am.
Closed on Saturday and Sunday.
4. 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
5. 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