Dubai: Iconic mosque opens new museum with rare artefacts, vintage items

It gives a visitors a glimpse into the local culture and how Emiratis lived before the UAE was formed

by

Mazhar Farooqui

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Published: Tue 11 Apr 2023, 1:41 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Oct 2023, 11:33 AM

Dubai's Jumeirah Mosque precinct now boasts a new museum, transporting visitors back in time through its collection of rare artefacts, iconic photographs, and vintage items. The Once Upon a Time museum, located on the first floor of the Jumeirah Mosque Majlis, opened its doors to the public on Monday.

The museum's inauguration was led by Abdulla bin Eisa Al Serkal, founder of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCC), an institution that aims to promote cross-cultural understanding between Emiratis and foreigners.


During the opening ceremony, Al Serkal addressed a diverse audience and described the SMCC as a significant part of the UAE's story. "For 27 years, it has been giving people an opportunity to meet Emiratis and understand our way of life. Just like the centre, the Once Upon a Time museum is a showcase and a celebration of our culture and traditions," he said.

The museum features several fascinating sections, including a display of famous mosques from around the world and an exhibit showcasing the front page of Al Ittihad newspaper from December 2, 1971, announcing the establishment of the UAE. Visitors can also view ship-making tools, Nashabah (a wooden catapult) and Raha (a stone grinder used in Emirati homes in the '60s to grind flour and grain) along with other intriguing artefacts.


The museum tour is part of the flagship programme of SMCC, the Jumeirah Grand Mosque visit. Representatives from the mosque conduct guided tours six days a week, welcoming visitors of all faiths to this iconic Dubai landmark.

The Once Upon a Time museum is open daily from 9m to 5pm, except on Fridays. It adds yet another attraction to Dubai's thriving cultural scene and reflects the city's ongoing efforts to promote cultural exchange and understanding.

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