20231203 al shindagha
The newly renovated Al Shindagha Museum was inaugurated on March 7 this year. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Expo City Dubai, Al Shindagha Museum and Etihad Museum are offering free entry to visitors to mark International Museum Day on May 18.

On Monday, May 15, Expo City Dubai announced that it will allow free access to its pavilions on Friday, May 19.

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority also announced on Wednesday, May 17, that in celebration of International Museum Day, visitors will be allowed free entry to two museums - Al Shindagha and Etihad Museum on Thursday, May 18.

Here is all you need to know:

About International Museum Day
Since 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has organised International Museum Day and aims to raise awareness about the importance of museums as means of cultural exchange and enrichment of cultures.
The motto for International Museum Day 2023, is ‘Museums, Sustainability and Wellbeing’.

Al Shindagha Museum – Free entry on May 18

This is the largest heritage museum in the UAE, featuring 22 pavilions that include 80 historic houses showcasing the development of Dubai and the UAE.

The museum was recently renovated and educates visitors on Dubai’s traditional lifestyle from the 19th century up to the 1970s.


The museum is open daily from 10am to 8pm. The last entry is at 7pm.

Location: Al Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai.

Etihad Museum – Free entry on May 18

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority states that Etihad museum is located at the very place where the UAE was founded in 1971 – the Union House in Dubai.

According to the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Etihad Museum has various pavilions that include exhibitions, interactive programmes and education initiatives that explore the chronology of events that culminated in the unification of the UAE in 1971, with a key emphasis on the period between 1968 to 1974.


The museum is open daily from 10am to 8 pm. The last entry is at 7pm.

Location: Jumeirah 1 Street, Al Mina, near 2nd December Street.

Expo City Dubai – May 19

For International Museum Day, Expo City Dubai will provide free access to pavilions such as Alif — The Mobility Pavilion, Terra — The Sustainability Pavilion, The Women’s and Vision Pavilions, as well as each of the three Stories of Nations Pavilions, on the day after International Museum Day, which is marked annually on May 18.

Workshops and activities at Expo City Dubai

Here are some of the activities planned for International Museum Day:


Terra will screen climate-focused films in collaboration with the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi, as well as host informative tours, storytelling sessions, physical theatre workshops and a ‘tinker table’ for play-based learning.

• Film Screening in the Terra Auditorium
• The Story of Terra Tours: 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm
• Storytelling
• Tinkering Table – this is a STEM-themed activity where children develop creative problem-solving skills.


• Robotics workshop at 4 pm
• Women’s Pavilion
• Garden of Empowerment craft activity from 10 am to 6 pm.

Vision pavilion

• Make a souvenir pin for free.