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These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

  • Publish date: Thursday، 18 May 2023
These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The world celebrates International Museum Day on May 18th, which highlights the role that museums play in the enrichment of cultures. There are some well-known museums in the Gulf Council Countries (GCC), which are renowned not only preservation of the Gulf’s heritage, but also for promoting cultural exchange between communities and the advancement of societies in various fields.

Here are some of the must-visit museums in the GCC:

Louvre Abu Dhabi

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a museum located at Al Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. The museum was developed under a partnership between Abu Dhabi and France in March 2007. Despite hosting the world’s amazing artistic marvels, the museum in itself is an architectural marvel.  The museum features a 180m wide dome, which is made of eight layers of geometric metal stars that creates a ‘rain of light’ effect over the museum under the dome.

The museum is home to some wonderful artistic pieces including the 1878 painting by Osman Hamdi titled ‘Young Emir Studying’ and Paul Gauguin’s ‘Children Wrestling’.

Museum of the Future

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

Another marvel of architecture in the UAE, the Museum of the Future building is uniquely structured and designed with Arabic poetic verses of the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed.

The Museum of the Future is an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation, which was formed in 2016 to design and execute the future of Dubai. The museum has held various exhibitions related to various aspects of technology and climate change.

King Abdul Aziz Centre of World Culture (Ithra)

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The King Abdul Aziz Centre of World Culture is also known as Ithra, which means ‘enrichment’ in Arabic. The name reflects how the centre is dedicated to cross-cultural exchange and nurturing creative talent. The centre includes a museum, a theatre, and a library.

The museum itself is an architectural marvel as its design feature the process of fracking.

The museum hosts various exhibitions, festivals, and film screenings, which foreground local and regional talent as well as hosting international works.

Saudi National Museum

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The Saudi National Museum is a popular museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The museum has eight galleries that contain a total of 3,700 artefacts. The museum hosts artefacts from different timelines ranging from the 4th millennium BC to the 2nd century AD. The museum also includes artefacts relating to pre-Islamic and Islamic eras, which makes it a very interesting place to visit.

National Museum of Qatar

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The National Museum of Qatar was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The museum’s structure features the design of the crystal clusters that are known to bloom in Qatar. The museum surrounds the original palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, which has been refurbished.

The museum provides insight into the vast history of Qatar from its geological formation to the development of the oil-rich country. The museum’s galleries share the history of Qatar in three distinct chapters including Beginnings, Life in Qatar, and Building the Nation.

Museum of Islamic Art

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The Museum of Islamic Art is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Islamic heritage, spanning 1,400 years and three continents. The collection features manuscripts, textiles, ceramics, woodwork, jewels, and other magnificent artefacts.

The architecture of the museum is awe-inspiring, which was designed by Chinese-American architect I.M Pei.

The National Museum of Oman

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The National Museum of Oman features the cultural heritage of Oman. The museum houses more than 5,000 artefacts across 14 galleries, which include prehistory and ancient history, the splendour of Islam, Oman and the world, and much more.

Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre is home to 22 galleries, which feature more than 1,000 artefacts. The museum district has six buildings, which include:

  • Natural History Museum
  •  Science Museum
  • Museum of Islamic History
  • Space Museum
  • Fine Arts Centre
  • Theatre

The museum represents the heritage of Arab and Islamic culture, art, literature, and science.

The National Museum of Bahrain

These Are the Must Visit Museums in the GCC

The National Museum of Bahrain is one of the old public museums in Bahrain and a popular location amongst residents and tourists. The museum houses artefacts that represent 6,000 years of Bahrain’s history. The museum contains the Hall of Graves; Hall of Dilmun; Hall of Tylos and Islam; Hall of Customs and Traditions; Hall of Traditional Trades, and Crafts; and Hall of Documents and Manuscripts. The museum is home to some interesting cultural artefacts such as old Quranic manuscripts and a tableau that depicts a part of the Epic of Gilgamesh.