Dubai Museum is the main museum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is located in the Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai.
The museum was opened by the ruler of Dubai in 1971, with the aim of presenting the traditional way of life in the Emirates of Dubai. It includes local antiquities as well as artifacts from African and Asian countries that traded with Dubai. It also includes several dioramas showing life in the emirate before the advent of oil, in addition to artifacts from recent discoveries as old as 3000 B.C.
Al Fahidi Fort was built in several phases. The oldest tower was built around 1787 and believed to be the oldest building in Dubai that still exists today. The fort was used to guard the landward approaches to the town from the raids of neighbouring tribes. It has also served, at various times throughout history as the ruler's palace, a garrison, and a prison.
Al Fahidi Fort is square-shaped with towers occupying three of its corners. It was built of coral rock and mortar in several phases. Just off the southern wall lie the remains of the city walls. Next to them stands a tall dhow (traditional boat) in the middle of a large courtyard that covers the underground galleries. Two cannons guard the main gate to the fort on the eastern wall, adorned by flags of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
Internal halls line three of the fort walls. One hall is at the main gate and houses the ticket office, while the others contain a collection of old weapons and arms from different historical periods along with a model of the city in 1820 AD. Traditional musical instruments are also displayed next to a video of folkloric music.
The halls surround a central courtyard. Here you'll find a bronze canon with canon balls, a well, and various types of boats. In the corner stands a traditional summer house called Arish. The Arish is made entirely from weaved palm fronds. It comprises seating and sleeping areas as well as a kitchen, filled with household furnishings and objects used by the locals in past times. The Arish features the distinct wind tower design, used for air conditioning in the pre-electricity days.