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Must-See Museums in Dubai

Must-See Museums in Dubai

While Dubai steals the tourist spotlight with its record-breaking skyscrapers and futuristic hotels, it also offers museums that showcase traditional Emirati life, architecture, and customs. Here are our picks for the city’s must-see museums.

 

Dubai Museum

Dubai’s main museum is located inside old Dubai’s Al Fahidi Fort—a restored, 18th-century fortress with a round tower. Inside, dioramas, exhibits, and photos trace Dubai’s Bedouin roots and meteoric rise from pearl-trading port to futuristic city. 

**How to Visit:**Buy a 1-, 2-, or 5-day hop-on hop-off bus ticket and disembark at the museum stop, or book a tour that covers old Dubai.

 

Women’s Museum (Bait Al Banat)

Hidden near Dubai’s Gold Souk, this illuminating museum spotlights the history and role of women in Emirati life. View works and photos by female artists, try on a burka, learn about pioneering women of the United Arab Emirates, and more. 

**How to Visit:**Join a culture-themed walking tour around old Dubai.

 

Coffee Museum

Coffee lovers will enjoy this museum in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Attractions include timelines charting coffee’s history, demos of roasting and brewing in various countries, and fresh coffee for visitors.

**How to Visit:**Several old Dubai walking tours include museum entry.

 

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House

Once home to Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum—Dubai’s ruler from 1912 to 1958—this palace turned museum is one of the city’s oldest buildings. Wander the courtyards to admire the wind towers and carved doors, and view the antique artifacts and collections inside.  

**How to Visit:**The house features on many heritage-focused Dubai tours.

 

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Perhaps more educational hub than museum, this cultural center offers a window into local life and traditions. Activities range from shared Emirati meals in the courtyard to Q and A sessions with local spokespeople, tours, and more.

**How to Visit:**Choose a tour that calls at the center during time at Dubai’s Al Fahidi quarter.

 

Heritage and Diving Village

Located in the old Shindagha area, this open-air living-history museum offers re-creations of bygone Dubai life in the form of Bedouin tents, craft making, souks, and a maritime village that harks back to the city’s onetime dominance in the pearl-diving industry. 

**How to Visit:**Make the village a stop on a Dubai hop-on hop-off bus tour.

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8 Tours and Activities | All Dubai Tours

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Big Bus Dubai Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Dubai Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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Explore Dubai at your own pace on a double-decker, open-top Big Bus Dubai tour. Admire top Dubai attractions including the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab, and Old Dubai, and hop on and off at any of the stops around the city to visit souks, malls, and museums as you please. Choose from a 1-day Classic, 2-day Premium, or a Deluxe 5-day unlimited attraction pass. Tickets include an array of extras like a Dubai Creek cruise, admission to Dubai Museum, shopping discounts and more.
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  • 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$61.00
From
$61.00
Taking safety measures

Dubai Museum Gold Souk and Water Taxi

Dubai Museum Gold Souk and Water Taxi

star-4
Explore Dubai’s old neighborhoods, including its traditional bazaars and souks, on this unique 4-hour tour. Visit the small Bastakiya quarter, full of merchant houses, art galleries, cafés and boutique hotels. Discover the Dubai Museum, located in the oldest existing building in Dubai. Then take a water taxi across Dubai Creek to the Spice Market and Gold Souk. Visit the Women’s Museum, watch a private fashion show, take pictures outside Jumeirah Mosque and drive by the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel. Entrance fees plus a hotel or port pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00

Dubai Old and New with Burj Khalifa Visit and Desert Tour

Dubai Old and New with Burj Khalifa Visit and Desert Tour

Experience all Dubai’s urban and desert must-dos in a day on this action-packed tour. Designed for travelers with limited time in the emirate, it cuts straight to the quick: with a morning tour of old and new Dubai, a visit to the124th-floor observatory of the Burj Khalifa, and a full-blown desert adventure with dune bash and dinner come the afternoon and evening. Hotel pickup and drop-off, air-conditioned transport, entrance fees, and desert dinner all included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$185.71
From
$185.71

Private Old Dubai Walking Tour: Forts, Souks, and Boats

Private Old Dubai Walking Tour: Forts, Souks, and Boats

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Get to know old Dubai and learn more about its history and culture than possible alone on this heritage-themed walking tour. Stroll the Al Fahidi district with its courtyards and wind towers; visit Bur Dubai’s bazaars; and ride an ‘abra’ boat across Dubai Creek to roam Deira’s Gold and Spice Souks. Along the way, discover hidden details and stories of bygone Dubai you’d probably miss if exploring independently.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$99.00
From
$99.00

Full day Historical and Cultural Dubai Tour

Full day Historical and Cultural Dubai Tour

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Dubai may be known for its ultra-modern buildings and flashy facade, but not long ago it was a humble fishing village. Learn more about the city’s rich heritage on this comprehensive tour. Visit historic neighborhoods, the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, gold souks, Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Mosque, and more.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$162.00
From
$162.00
Taking safety measures

After Dark Tour of Old Dubai with Dinner

After Dark Tour of Old Dubai with Dinner

Wandering old Dubai by night without a guide may mean missing or getting lost around the sights and souks. Get the best from an evening with a guide to show you the must-sees and provide background. Chart the city’s history at Dubai Museum, ride an ‘abra’ boat across Dubai Creek, explore the Gold and Spice Souk, and savor an authentic Middle Eastern dinner—something easy to pass over by yourself.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size

Walking Tour: Emirati Art and Cultural Tour From Dubai

Walking Tour: Emirati Art and Cultural Tour From Dubai

Discover traditional Emirati culture and art on a 4-hour tour of old Dubai, with a local guide. See the mud-brick wind towers and courtyards of Al Bastakiya and Al Fahidi, visit boutique art galleries, and admire the beautiful Diwan Mosque. Savor Arabic coffee and fresh dates during a fascinating interactive question and answer session about Emirati life and culture; see Deira’s glittering Gold Souk, and explore women’s role in Emirati life and art at Dubai’s Women’s Museum. Numbers are limited to 15 for a small-group experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$79.00
From
$79.00
Taking safety measures

Cultural Tour: A Modern Glimpse of the Past from Dubai

Cultural Tour: A Modern Glimpse of the Past from Dubai

star-5
Explore the age-old Bedouin customs, 20th-century architecture and atmospheric bazaars of Dubai during this 4-hour cultural-themed city tour. Travel through the city by private luxury vehicle, starting with a tour of the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House and a walking tour of the historic Bastakiya Quarter. You’ll also have time explore the Camel Museum, Horse Museum and Heritage Village before checking out Al Fahidi Fort. This Dubai culture trip includes a guide, private vehicle and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$175.00
Price varies by group size
From
$175.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures