Abu Dhabi is a unique destination that seamlessly blends its rich cultural heritage with modern advancements. With a history dating back to around 3000 B.C., Abu Dhabi boasts a more authentic Arabian atmosphere compared to the glitz and glam of Dubai. Whatever visitors are seeking, Abu Dhabi has something for everyone. One must-visit attraction in Abu Dhabi are its museums. These museums not only offer a glimpse into the city’s history, but also cater to the modern, curious mind.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum in the Arab World, dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding through art. As one of the leading cultural institutions on Saadiyat Island, it offers a diverse and expansive collection of galleries, stretching over 9,200 square meters, showcasing parallel and exchange from the shared human experience. Visitors can explore a unique blend of civilizations from across the globe and across history, displayed side by side in this art lover’s paradise.
Al Ain Palace Museum
Al Ain Palace Museum is one of Abu Dhabi’s hidden gems and a significant historical site in the UAE. It was the former residence of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country’s first president and the founding father of the UAE, who lived there with his family until the late 1960s. The palace provides a unique glimpse into the lives and cultures of both the royal family and common people. After undergoing renovations in 1998, the palace opened its doors to the public as a museum in 2001. Visitors can admire the combination of contemporary design elements and traditional Emirati influences on display throughout the property.
UAE Currency Museum
The Central Bank of the UAE Museum is located in the city of Abu Dhabi and housed within the ground floor of the Central Bank’s office building. The museum was opened in late 2013 to commemorate 40 years of the UAE Central Bank. It boasts a collection of paper notes, gold and silver coins, including vintage Indian rupees, Saudi Arabian and Qatari riyals, providing an in-depth look into the history of money in the region.
The museum showcases the establishment of the Dirham as the official national currency of the UAE in 1973 and the printing of the first series of notes in 1976. Visitors can see a portion of the Central Bank’s collections of coins, currency notes, commemorative coins, gifts, and samples of UAE currency note issues, as well as coins and currency from other nations. Old cash sorting and counting devices used by the Central Bank are also on display, making this museum a fascinating destination for those interested in the history of currency.
Emirates National Auto Museum
The Emirates National Auto Museum is a must-visit for any automotive enthusiast in Abu Dhabi. Located about 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi city in Al Dhafra, this unique pyramid-shaped museum showcases the extensive collection of over 200 vehicles owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. Before entering the museum, visitors can admire several outdoor exhibits, including a parked model vehicle and a retired passenger jet.
Inside, the museum features off-road vehicles, vintage American cars, and the Sheikh’s famous Mercedes rainbow collection. This museum offers a fascinating look at a diverse range of vehicles and is sure to delight any car lover.