Watch: Inside the Al Shindagha Museum in Old Dubai
A must visit whether you’re an Emirati, a resident or a visitor to the UAE…
The Al Shindagha Museum is a newly opened museum on the banks of the Creek in Old Dubai, and is the first phase of the ambitious Dubai Historic District (DHD) project.
The museum is said to promise visitors a fascinating insight into the rich past of the UAE – so we decided to go and check it out.
So what’s it like?
Visitors are transported back in time to the 19th Century, where they learn about the heritage and growth of the UAE which has seen the country become the stunning metropolis it is now.
From pearl diving, the oil era, cultural practices and the major significance of The Creek on trade, visitors are sure to leave with profound knowledge and insight of the country’s rich past.
The very location of the Al Shindagha Museum is what makes the museum all the more special – as it stands on the site of the Dubai Creek – the very place where it all began all those years ago.
Expect displays of photographs, historic artefacts, interactive videos and games and unique touch displays – all of which will paint a complete picture of Emirati’s and Dubai heritage.
Here’s a glimpse of what we experienced:
The museum is split into three main sections: ‘Living off the Sea and Land’, ‘Governance and Society’ and ‘Creativity and Well-Being’
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What are the highlights?
Experience the growth of landmarks and other milestones around Dubai Creek through a series of interactive devices before modernisation in the ‘Governance and Society section’. But don’t miss out on the rooms that surround the area, they’re filled with artefacts and photos for more in-depth knowledge.
Immerse yourself in displays of photos, videos and artefacts that will teach you about the life of an Emirati’s on land and on the sea in the ‘Living off the Sea and Land’ section.
The third and final section, ‘Creativity and Well-Being’, can be found in the Perfume House – a few minutes away from the Al Shindagha Museum.
Before you head out though, don’t forget to check out a quick movie display for a truly unique experience.
Be amazed and completely immersed as the video on display surrounds you and music and sounds fill the air. To add to the experience, doors surrounding you open and close according to the story, to depict windows of old houses, doors to old shops at the souq etc.
The video can be viewed in Arabic and English and repeats every 20 minutes.
Gusets can also fuel up and grab a bite to eat or drink at the café.
But there’s more…
The same ticket to the Al Shindagha Museum will also grant you entry to The Perfume House, so be sure to hold on to your ticket until your entire experience is over.
After exiting the café and gift shop of the Al Shindagha Museum, take a left and walk along the Creek. You’ll find it hard to not gaze at its beauty and power after what you’ve experienced.
The Perfume House is located near the ‘Historical Documents Centre’.
On display are different perfumes and spices that were used by the Emiratis. They are also available for you to smell through unique smelling devices.
You can also expect more photographs, historic artefacts that include tools for making perfumes and perfume bottles, a sit-down educational video that shows you how perfume is made, and loads of information on how scents played an important role in Emirati culture, their role in religious and everyday life and more.
Tickets are currently priced at Dhs15 for adults, Dhs10 for children, under 5s free (prices subject to change)
How to get there?
The museum is located right next to House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum in Al Shindagha.
Track down the metro station (it looks like a fort) and you should be able to track down the museum entrance, just keep your eyes peeled for three white boxes stacked on top of each other bearing the red Al Shindaga logo.
If you’re travelling by metro, get off at Al Ghubaiba metro station and take Exit 3.
Al Shindagha Musuem, Al Shindagha, Sat to Thursday 10am to 6pm, Fri 2.30pm to 9pm, Tue closed. Tel: (04) 515 5336 alshindagha.dubaiculture.gov.ae