All About Al Shindagha Museum
Dubai is all about futuristic living. Massive shopping malls, skyscrapers that touch the clouds, a wide range of gaming & entertainment zones, and a cosmopolitan population – everything speaks of a bustling megalopolis that’s always a step ahead of its global counterparts. A city that represents a thriving & bubbling urban living.
But amidst all this futuristic living, there’s still a slice of old Dubai here.
This is the Al Shindagha neighborhood, located in Bur Dubai. From 1912 to 1958, the then-ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum used to resided here. Some repairs & renovations were carried out here to convert this place into a museum – the Al Shindagha Museum. Read on to know everything that you wanted to about the Al Shindagha Museum.
History of the Al Shindagha Museum
Experience history comes alive as you wander in and around the Al Shindagha Museum. It’s like a trip back in time – over a century – in a time machine. It still showcases the Dubai of the pre-petroleum days. Of the days when Dubai was a fishing & pearl cultivation village; when life was unassuming and simple.
The royal living quarters here were simple – yet fairly spacious. Till 1958, the ruling family lived a life that was comfortable, yet uncomplicated. A lot of business activity also used to happen here. Emiratis used to engage in traditional business activities here. Life for them was simple – enveloped in a spirit of peace & fraternity.
Things to See at the Al Shindagha Museum
The museum is divided into several pavilions. Each pavilion displays snapshots of traditional Emirati lifestyle & culture – and also the evolutionary journey that they have gone through. Some of the key pavilions here are:
1. Welcome Center
As the name suggests, this is the pavilion you would start your visit with. After a traditional Emirati welcome & greeting, you would be taken through an orientation session regarding the museum.
This valuable guidance program acts as an eye-opener for the tourists regarding the evolution of the museum, as well as any ongoing/upcoming cultural events. And at every step, you would be experiencing renowned Emirati hospitality.
2. Governance & Well-being
From a fishing-based village, Dubai has evolved into one of the grandest cities of the world. And this transformation has been ably helmed by the ruling Al Maktoum family. They have displayed exemplary leadership & an unparalleled sense of strategy to make all this happen. This pavilion takes you through this fascinating journey and gives you valuable insights into the spectacular planning – and execution – conducted by the rulers. Another museum you can consider visiting is Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Also, get to see the transformation of Dubai Creek. This was the yolk of Dubai’s transformation. In the earlier days – and, to a large extent, even today – there are various thriving traditional marketplaces here. State-of-the-art multimedia-aided audiovisual shows will allow you to witness this tremendous transformation of Dubai Creek.
3. Living Off the Sea & Land
The Emiratis in old Dubai lived a tough life. Their survival depended on fighting off the elements – desert storms, unpredictable ocean currents, and more. But ironically, these natural elements also provided sustenance to the Emiratis of yesteryears.
That’s what you would get to see here. Dhow (traditional Emirati seafaring vessel) building, pearl diving, and fishing are some of the traditional Emirati activities that used to sustain them for millennia. And this pavilion would let you be a witness to this fascinating life, through pictures & recreated videos.
And a terrific 4D experience also awaits you at this pavilion. This technology would showcase the desert life of Arab Bedouins and earlier Emiratis – through its awesome immersive experience. Get to know how those sturdy souls battled the harsh desert climate to live through it.
To wrap up your visit to this pavilion, you would also get an opportunity to know how traditional Emirati food items are cooked to perfection. And you would also get to taste some of it!
Entry Fees to the Museum
If you book your tickets online, you would have to pay AED 50 per head (for adults) & AED 20 per head (for students aged between 5 & 24 years). You can book the Al Shindagha Museum ticket here at a discount price.
We would suggest that you book your tickets online. This is because there are always a fair number of visitors here and you might have to stand in a long queue to book your tickets at the venue.
Visit the museum’s website to book tickets online.
How to Reach the Al Shindagha Museum?
For those willing to take public transport, the best option would be the Green Line Dubai Metro. Get down at the Al Ghubaiba metro station and walk to the museum that lies a few hundred meters away.
You can also catch a cab from anywhere in Dubai and reach the museum without any hassle.
Al Shindagha Museum Operational Hours
Opening Time: 10:00 A.M
Closing Time: 8:00 P.M
Note: Please note that after 7:00 P.M., no entry is permitted.