We let the facts do the talking.

From 3000BC to Museum of the Future – museums connect our past to our future

Part 1

There has been a human interest in preserving antiquities and exhibiting artwork for many thousands of years. The earliest discovered collection of historical artefacts was dug up at the beginning of the last century in Ur. Discovered in the palace of the last Neo-Babylonian princess, Ennigaldi-Nanna reflected 1500 years of archive. The assumption is that this was a private display within a section of the emperor’s home.

In almost every country in the world now, there are buildings dedicated to cultural history. Regardless of the size of the nation or newness of its inauguration, teaching people about how their predecessors lived has been highly encouraged. The education that underpins the experiences of these rich centres has been fully embraced by all facets of society. Museum visits make up a large proportion of both the tourist industry and national cultural representation as a whole. School visits are today one of the most regular sights at venues like these.

Castles and forts have shaped the course of history most compellingly and so these are quite naturally seen as the settings for the first museums. This is the case with Dubai. The emirate’s first ever museum is situated in its oldest building, Al Fahidi Fort which dates, at least partly, from 1787.

Opened in 1971, the aim of this inaugural monument was to present the traditional way of life in Dubai. The fort’s structures and accompanying architectural history is the first thing visitors experience. From the fort, there is a path to the galleries, which depict the cultural use of the land, especially in the busy 1800s. The museum houses local antiques, as well as items collected from the various trading partners the emirate had historically. It also includes several dioramas showing life in the emirate before the advent of oil, in addition to archeological discoveries as old as 3000 BC!

Dubai Museum receives over a million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East. Nearby in the area of Al Shindagha – the home of Dubai’s leadership from the early to mid 1900s – one will find another public cultural attraction.

Al Shindagha Museum, Dubai’s largest heritage museum, is a plot that includes a group of heritage houses located on the banks of the Dubai Creek, telling the history of the emirate and highlighting its ancient culture and heritage. The traditional crafts and commercial activities that characterized Dubai even before it became the global tourist destination are made available for all to see.

There are even more. Stay tuned.

Antoine Boghos is Senior Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |