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The Dubai Museum is a must see for everyone who comes to Dubai. This is a lively interactive museum with working models and lifesize displays portraying various aspects of Dubai life: a bustling market, an Islamic school, the desert at night and sealife in the Gulf.

Established in 1970, the museum is housed in the imposing 19th century Al Fahidi fort. The Al Fahidi Fort, was built around 1799, and once guarded the landward approaches to the town. Thought to be the city’s oldest building, the fort was both the residence of Dubai’s rulers and the seat of government until it was retired as a museum in 1971. It was renovated in 1970 for use as a museum; further restoration and the addition of galleries was completed in 1995.

Colorful and evocative dioramas, complete with life-size figures and sound and lighting effects, vividly depict everyday life in pre-oil days at the museum. Galleries show scenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date gardens, desert and marine life. One of the most interesting exhibits portrays the underwater world of pearl-diving, including sets of pearl merchants’ weights, scales and sieves.

The main fort is a fascinating military museum. The museum also displays a fine collection from ancient history including copper, alabaster and pottery artefacts found in graves up to 4,000 years.

In recent years, archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of artefacts, including pottery, weapons and coinage, that point to civilised settlements dating back to the third millennium B.C. These historic finds have been carefully preserved and are now permanently housed in the Archaeological section of the Museum.