Visiting Museums and Monuments in Dubai

Art, archaeology, history, literature... Find out how to make the most of the museums using discount tickets and vouchers...

Dubai has plenty of cultural attractions to contrast the glitz and glamour of its malls and five star hotels. For those who don't want to leave Dubai feeling like they didn't see everything it has to offer, try a tour of the city or participate in one of the programmes offered by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre of Cultural Understanding.

While it certainly isn't cheap to vacation or live in Dubai, there are ways to stay budget-conscious and still get the most out of the stay.

  • Consider visiting Dubai during the off season (June-August) when there are plenty of deals at hotels and entertainment parks. Many expatriate residents travel back to their home countries during the summer, so traffic is considerably lighter and attractions are less crowded
  • The Entertainer provides a collection of discount vouchers and two-for-the-price-of-one coupons. Available at any local bookstore or online
  • Avoid exchanging currency at hotels; currency exchanges can provide better rates

Monuments and Main Sights in Dubai

Burj Khalifa: The world's tallest building can be seen from almost anywhere in Dubai, though it is best seen at night when the bright lights of the building create a silhouette against the night sky.

Visitors can purchase tickets to the observation deck on the 124th floor dubbed "At the Top" or enjoy al fresco dining next to Burj Khalifa Lake while the spectacular Dubai Fountain performs one of its signature "dances."

Palm Jumeirah: The mixed-use residential and commercial community in the Jumeirah area of Dubai is well known as the largest man-made island in the world. The ultra-luxurious resort Atlantis, The Palm and its popular waterpark, Aquaventure, are located at the tip of the island.

Burj Al Arab: Set on a private, man-made island, the Burj Al Arab is an internationally recognised architectural icon. Although this exclusive resort is only open to guests of the hotel and its restaurants, plenty of visitors can be seen just outside the hotel posing for pictures.

Museums in Dubai

Most of the museums in Dubai are converted historical buildings and former residences of the royal family of Dubai. The entry fees vary, but most are less than AED 5 per adult.

Note that during Ramadan, many museums and historical buildings change their opening hours, check before visiting during this time.

Dubai Museum: Visitors can walk through exhibits that portray traditional Arab life including recreations of pearl diving and fishing, a mosque and Arabic-style houses. Artefacts discovered locally are also on display.

  • Tel: 04 353 1862
    Open: Saturday to Thursday 08:30-20:30, Friday 14:30-20:30

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding: A unique and authentic way to experience local culture. The centre organises visits to the Jumeirah Mosque, tours of Bastakiya area, Arabic language classes, traditional meals with locals and various events throughout the year. There is also an open forum where visitors are encouraged to ask questions about Islam, Arab culture and anything else that comes to mind.

  • Tel: 04 353 666 
    Open: Programme hours vary, call or email for information

Dubai Municipality Museum: Situated in a building dating back to the 1950s, the museum features exhibits and documents relating the history of the establishment of the Municipality.

  • At: Bani Yas Road, Next to Spice Souq, opposite Dubai Creek
    Tel: 04 345 3636
    Open: Saturday to Thursday from 07:30 -15:00

Further Information