While the Arabian word Etihad for many people first of all stands for a major airline based in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the word in fact means “unity”, “union” or also “friendship”. The Etihad Museum in Dubai is explaining exactly that part of the U.A.E. history, the path to founding the nation in 1971. A beautiful building hosts this interesting place, which I visted in December 2020.
Etihad Museum – Location & Admission
The museum is located at 1 Jumeirah Street. There are a couple of restaurants and bars around and the Jumeirah Central Mosque is not too far away. Apart from that, the area is rather the harbor area of Dubai. I would recommend to use a taxi or go by rental car to get to the museum. The museum features a parking garage, which did have facilities to charge parking fees during my visit. They, however, have not been in use. You enter the museum from a Northern entrance – my GPS was wrong when it tried to guide me to the museum entrance.
Daily hourse of the museum are 10:00 to 20:00 hrs. Adult admission is 25 AED. I bought a combined ticket with the Al Shindaga Museum via the Burj Khalifa ticket office, which was a bit of bothersome on the administrative side. The combined price is 40 AED
Etihad Museum – The Museum
Already the reception hall of the museum is amazing. From there, you head downstairs to the key areas of the museum. The first major part of Etihad Museum introduces you to the political leaders of the Emirates. For each sheikh and their families, you learn about a bit about their family background and some personal items.
The place I visited thereafter was about the Friendship treaty, which paved the way to become independent from Great Britain. I absolutely enjoyed this part of the exhibition, which comes with a lot of original items, but especially with a lot of photographic documentation.
En route to the Uniter Arab Emirates Constitution
The museum now introduces you with the steps towards the U.A.E. constitution. Two movies give you a nice overview how the emirates united as one nation, starting with the initiatives by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his Dubai’s equivalernt, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Malktoum. These two shows are very illustrative and are shown in English and Arabic, as the whole exhibition is presented. Thereafter, there are a lot of showcases and interactive screens allow you to read through the constitution.
Last, but not least, you can look at the original founding contract of the United Arab Emirates.
Etihad Museum – The Gardens and Houses
When you are at Etihad Museum, you should definitely also stroll around in the gardens. It is not just about watching the giant U.A.E. flag, but you can also have a look into the Union House, where some of the negotiations have taken place. On demand, you may also visit the Guest House, which I did not do during my visit.
Etihad Museum – Services
At roughly the same place, the Etihad Museum drives a souvenir shop and a cafe. The souvenir shop especially features quite a lot of literature by the Emirati leaders. The cafe felt really nice and cozy, but I did not have a proper check of the facility. Like in most places in Dubai, the staff was very welcoming and helpful.
Etihad Museum – My View
I absolutely loved to visit Etihad Museum, which I feel is a really underrated. The exhibition is modern and fascinating and really well presented. You definitely get much more than just amazing architecture. I feel Etihad Museum should be on your bucket listen when visiting Dubai, for sure.
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