Must-Visit Museums in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, seamlessly blends traditional and modern elements. With roots dating back to 3000 B.C., the city has a distinct Arabian atmosphere compared to the glitz and glam of Dubai. Visitors can find something for everyone in Abu Dhabi, but one thing not to miss is its museums. They offer an insight into the city’s history while also catering to the contemporary curiosity of visitors.


The first universal museum in the Arab World. It translates and promotes the idea of intercultural understanding. This art lover’s paradise is one of the top cultural institutions on Saadiyat Island. Explore the galleries stretching over 9,200 square metres, which exhibit parallels and exchanges from the shared human experience, transcending geography, country, and history, by showcasing the juxtaposition of several civilizations in the same area.


One of Abu Dhabi’s best-kept museums and a significant historical location in the UAE is Al Ain Palace. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the country’s first president and the UAE’s founding father, resided there with his family up until the late 1960s. The palace and private residence offer insights into the lives and cultures of both the royal family and the common people. The palace underwent renovations in 1998, and in 2001 it opened its doors as a tourist attraction and cultural museum. The property exhibits a contrast between contemporary design components and traditional Emirati influences.


It is located on the ground floor of the Central Bank’s office in the city of Abu Dhabi. It was inaugurated in late 2013 to commemorate 40 years of the UAE Central Bank. The museum boasts a variety of paper notes, and gold and silver coins, including vintage Indian rupees as well as Saudi Arabian and Qatari riyals. This fascinating exhibit provides details on 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 as it discusses the history of money in the region. A portion of the Central Bank’s collections of coins, currency notes, commemorative coins, presents, and samples of UAE currency note issues, as well as coins and currency from other nations, are also on display in the museum. Additionally, there are old cash sorting and counting devices used by the Central Bank on display.


Any automotive enthusiast visiting Abu Dhabi must check out the Emirates National Auto Museum’s distinctive collection of vehicles. Approximately 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi city, is this pyramid-shaped car museum in Al Dhafra. There are over 200 vehicles owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. Even before you enter the museum, there are several exhibits such as the parked model vehicle and retired passenger jet. Off-road vehicles, vintage American cars, and the Sheikh’s Mercedes rainbow collection may all be found inside the museum.