Dubai's best galleries and museums

You’ll be stunned by the architecture and enthralled by the shopping, but when planning your Dubai holidays, don’t overlook the possibility of taking in a little heritage and culture. There are a range of superb cultural attractions if you just dig beneath the surface. We point the way to Dubai’s finest galleries and museums.

1. The Dubai Museum is located in the 18th-century Al Fahidi Fort, and is packed with displays and dioramas telling the story of the city. Learn about Dubai’s pre-oil economy, founded on pearl fishing, and wince at the extensive collection of fearsome-looking Middle Eastern weaponry. There are also a number of modern displays that are well worth checking out.

2. Nearby, the charming Narish Khyma Museum is great for an afternoon’s wander. It features a collection of antique boats, made in the traditional Middle Eastern way, a reminder that Dubai grew up as a maritime city.

3. The Majlis Art Gallery in the historic Bastakiya quarter houses a fabulous collection of textiles, glasswork, ceramics and paintings, including some rare and beautiful Indian furniture. It's surprisingly entertaining for kids as well as adults.

4. The Godolphin Gallery is a must-see for all aficionados of horse-racing. It’s named after the famous stallion, founder of the line of Arabian thoroughbreds that dominate the racecourses of the world. The gallery is housed within the grounds of the Nad Al Sheba racecourse, and features countless equestrian paintings and trophies. Check the website (godolphin.com) before you visit, because at the time of writing the Dubai Godolphin Galleries were closed due to relocation.

5. The Sheikh Saeed House is a spectacular piece of architecture in its own right, and offers interesting insights into the history of Dubai. It was the home of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum who governed the city during the first half of the 20th century, and exhibits chronicle his life and times.

For more information on Dubai galleries and museums, visit dubaitourism.ae.

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