1 of 14
Museum of the Future: Dubai has just opened the doors to an architectural marvel – a 77-metre tall building wrapped in calligraphy that pays homage to the UAE. As opposed to most museums that explore a particular period in the past, the Museum of the Future looks at what the world may become. There are seven floors in this building, which deal with subjects including space travel and living; education, climate change and ecology; as well as health, wellness and spirituality. What’s in it for the little ones? A storey where they can explore problems and solutions of the future. Tickets: Dh145; kids under three, senior Emirati citizens, people of determination and one accompanying caregiver go free. Timings: 10am-6pm.
2 of 14
Etihad Museum: There’s no better place for seeing the UAE’s origin story playing out than on the grounds of this museum, the roof of which has been inspired by the Unification Agreement. Within the 25,000-metre-square structure, you’ll find artefacts from before the union of the Emirates, as well as the period of unification, between 1968 and 1974. There are interactive exhibits that kids are sure to enjoy – in one such showcase, a timeline resides; touching the year on the case will mean a pop-up explaining the relevance of the year. Wonder what travel papers looked like before the UAE was formed? There are displays of the leaders’ passports on hand. Don’t forget to head a few steps away from the main building and have a look at The Guest House, where the Rulers met before signing the binding agreement. Tickets: Dh25 (adult); Dh10 (student); kids and People of Determination free.
Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche/Gulf News
3 of 14
Al Shindagha Museum: Dive into the UAE’s rich history, learn about its pearling and trade-laden past when you visit this museum located by the Dubai Creek. Here, you’ll find exhibits that show the evolution of Dubai, from a sandy desert with tonnes of potential to the business giant it has become today. There are interactive videos, touch displays, photographs and artefacts. Tickets: Dh15 (Adult); Dh5 (Student); kids and People of Determination get in free. Timings: 10am-8pm (every day except Tuesdays).
Image Credit: Instagram/@ alshindaghamuseum
4 of 14
The Museum Group: This group of museums, located in Bur Dubai, consists of The Crossroads of Civilization Museum (CCM), Rare Books Manuscripts and Prints Museum, and The Armory Museum. CCM is home to six permanent exhibits that include rare artefacts, manuscripts, autographs of historically important people such as kings and explorers, and decrees from Generals and Sultans. Among highlights is a 471-year-old sitarah, or Kaaba door cover, which was designed by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), the 10th and longest-reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Tickets: Dh20 (which includes entry into all three museums). Kids under 10 and People of Determination and one carer can enter for free. Timings: 8am-8pm.
Image Credit: Instagram/@themuseumae
5 of 14
Saruq Al Hadid: The artefacts on this site date back 3,000-odd years and offer a glimpse into ironwork at the time. The two-storey building itself is important to the Emirate’s history; it was built in 1928 – using traditional material including coral stone, gypsum, and sandal wood - and once owned by Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. The museum dishes history alongside the theories behind discoveries. For young kids, there’s a special trail that they can follow through every room. Here’s an interesting fact about one of the artefacts displayed here – one of the gold rings inspired the logo of Expo 2020, billed the greatest show on earth. Tickets: Dh20 (adults); Dh10 (Kids aged 7 to 12); kids under six and senior citizens: free. Timings: 7.30am-7pm (Monday to Thursday); 9am-5pm (Friday).
Image Credit: Supplied
6 of 14
History of Cinema Museum: Formerly known as Dubai history of Moving Images Museum, this Tecom-based exhibition area is one to visit if you – or anyone in the family – likes films. There are more than 300 articles, some of which date back to the 1730s. The journey follows the evolution of the art from shadow puppetry to 3D cinema. Here you can look upon the advanced-for-its-time pinhole camera; Peep Boxes that date back to 15th century Europe; the Magic Lantern projection device; and devices that made the first animated shows possible. Tickets: Dh30 (18-plus); Dh25 (University students); Dh20 (those under 18). Timings: 9am-6pm (except Fridays).
Image Credit: Instagram/@dsouzasohan
7 of 14
The Pearl Museum: The region is well-known for the quality of its pearls, a legacy that dates back to pre-unification times. The museum, in Deira Dubai, is home to a pearl collection that belongs to pearl trader Sultan Ali Al Owais along with a chest full of coins that date back to the Greek, Ottoman and British Empires. This is where you go to learn about pearling history alright, but also how to tell the real from the fake. Did you know? The oldest pearl found in the Gulf was located by archaeologists in the UAE; it is 7,500 years old and was used as a pendant. Tickets: Entry is free. Timings: 8am to 4pm.
Image Credit: GN
8 of 14
Louvre Abu Dhabi: This sprawling museum on Saadiyat Island has a 180-metre eight-layer star-latticed dome that gives way to dapples of light. It’s also home to a 9,200-square-metre series of galleries with works from artists across the globe – think Vassily Kandinsky, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Edouard Vuillard, and Johannes Vermeer - as well as classes, from yoga to painting, for everyone, no matter their ages. Don’t forget to take the tots to the Children’s Museum where they can explore their emotions by playing, listening, drawing or acting in the ‘Emotions! The new art adventure’ show. Want to explore the museum in a slightly different way? Take a kayak tour that will ferry you across the still waters of the museum and give you an ace look at the architectural marvel. Tickets: Dh63 (adult); Free for kids under 18 and senior citizens. Timings: 10am to 6.30pm.
Image Credit: Supplied
9 of 14
Al Ain Palace Museum: This palace-cum-residence of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was converted into a museum that was open to visitors in 2001. Today, one can not only get an insight into the culture and heritage of the country but also the sustainable practices it followed from time immemorial. The buildings – the oldest of which date back to 1937 – have been restored using eco-friendly materials such as clay, adobe and plaster stones. Tickets: Entry is free. Timings: 10am-6pm (Saturday to Thursday); 2pm-6pm (Friday)
10 of 14
Manarat Al Saadiyat: This hub of shows and showcases, of tech and of workshops makes for a fun day out with the family. The façade of the building itself is impressive what with its honeycomb lattice that’s lit up at night. There are three galleries on site and rotating exhibitions, so the visitor never gets bored. The museum on Saadiyat Island opened in 2009. Currently running is an exhibition called ‘Zemanna’, which is basically ‘reinterpreted memories from the 1990s’. Tickets: Free entry to Manarat Al Saadiyat. Timings: 9am – 8pm
11 of 14
Sharjah Maritime Museum: Learn all about ancient customs and daily life, from fishing to trading to peal diving when you visit this museum. You can also learn all about pearling, what makes a good pearl and how you can tell good from bad. Tickets: Dh10 (13 and over); Dh5 (2 to 12 years); Kids under two get in free. Timings: 8am-8pm (Saturday to Thursday); 2pm to 8pm (Friday)
Image Credit: GN Archives
12 of 14
Sharjah Classic Car Museum: Drive down a cars’ memory lane when you visit this museum. It takes you through the various eras of car-making. With more than 100 specimens including cars, bikes and bicycles, this is a must-see for future petrol heads in the making. Some of the displays date back to the 20th century. The rides here include vehicles from companies such as Rolls-Royce, Ford, Mercedes, Chevrolet and Bentley. The oldest car in the museum was made in 1915. Tickets: Dh10 (over 13 years old); Dh5 (kids aged 2 to 12); Those under two years of age, senior citizens and People of Determination get in free.
Image Credit: Instagram/@cj_yossie
13 of 14
Sharjah Science Museum: This museum is all about experiments that end in a lesson. Kids can learn about nature, thermal physics, physiology and aerodynamics here. They can also understand how electricity works and learn about space. There are more than 50 interactive exhibits on site that foster innovative thinking. Like looking at stars? Get the kids involved at the on-site planetarium, where you can both discover constellations. Tickets: Dh10 (over 13 years old); Dh5 (kids aged 2 to 12). Timings: 8am-8pm (Saturday to Thursday); 4pm-8pm (Friday).
Image Credit: GN Archives
14 of 14
Ajman Museum: At this 18th century fort that’s been converted into a museum, one can see everything from centuries’ old manuscripts and weaponry to models of wooden dhows and irrigation systems. The fort itself is made of coral, which ensures it stays cool and well ventilated on hot summer days. One of the displays that offers grand insight into the peoples who lives in the area has pottery and funeral jewellery that can be traced back to BC3000. Tickets: Dh5 (adult); Dh15 (family). Timings: 8am-8pm (Saturday to Thursday); 2.30pm to 8pm (Friday).