Although it is the second smallest emirate in the UAE, Umm Al Quwain has lots to offer when it comes to history, culture and nature. One perk of visiting the emirate is the unmatched serenity that you find in the city. An exciting hub for visitors is the Umm Al Quwain National Museum (UAQ Museum), the centre of history and heritage in the city.
Here’s all that you need to know about the Umm Al Quwain National Museum.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE UMM AL QUWAIN NATIONAL MUSEUM
UAQ Museum is built inside a fort that once was home to the emirate’s ruling family. Among other features, the museum is home to artefacts unearthed at Ed-Dur. Ed Dur (or Ed Dour) is one of the largest archaeological sites in the UAE and is listed among the most important lost cities of Arabia. You will also find exhibits showcasing the history of war in the region at the UAQ Museum, especially old cannons.
The museum is located in the old souq area of the emirate known as Madeena Al Qadeema – The Old Town. The area still retains the traditional look and feel of the city. Some buildings in the area are more than 150 years old and the the museum is still one of the best-maintained structures.
HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
Umm Al Quwain Fort is also known as Al Ali Fort. The history of Umm Al Quwain Fort and Museum goes back to 1768 when it was established as the residence for the ruling family. Originally, it was a fort was built in 1768 by Sheikh Rashid Bin Majid Al Mualla, founder of the Al Mualla ruling dynasty. You can read more about the Al Mualla family as well as other royal families of the UAE on our blog.
The fort continued as the home of the ruling family and the centre of government in the emirate till the 1960s. Later it was converted into a police station. It was made a museum and opened to the public in 2000, following the directives of Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Mualla, member of the supreme council of the UAE, and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain.
NOTABLE EXHIBITS AT THE MUSEUM
Umm Al Quwain National Museum houses relatively few dioramas, but they are fascinating and insightful nonetheless. The various rooms of the fort now feature marks of Emirati and traditional furnishings, especially the ‘Sheikh’ and ‘Sheikhah’ rooms. The highlight of the UAQ museum is the archaeological finds from Ed Dur and Tel Abraq.
These include exhibits featuring statues of headless falcons, a stone plate in the shape of a turtle and tiny human-shaped bone plaques. These artefacts date back to the Roman Empire.
Other notable exhibits at the museum include:
ROYAL FAMILY HERITAGE
This section has memorabilia representing the history of the royal family. Another exhibit in the UAQ National Museum features gifts offered to the Ruler of Umm Al Quwain on different occasions, such as swords, coins, jewellery and a matchlock. In this room, you will also find a gold glazed family tree of the rulers of the emirate.
There is also a small documentary room where you can find old pictures chronicling Umm Al Quwain history.
There is also a room in the museum featuring sea equipment. The people of the emirate have been involved in activities like shipbuilding, fishing and swimming. In this room, you will find models of ships used for pearl fishing named ‘Sanbook’, ‘Jalbot’, ‘Samma’ and ‘Albon’. There is a separate room that exhibits other traditional professions in Umm Al Quwain, such as tailoring.
This display has several interesting exhibits of historic importance, such as the first passport to be issued in the emirate, along with the first trading licence, first driving licence and the first stamp. There are also some handwritten copies of the Holy Qur’an dating back to the 17th century.
Moving on, the next exhibit is the traditional market Attar, Mahloa and a coffee shop.
Other exhibits at the UAQ Museum include weapons, old military uniforms and documents, utensils and the prison of the fort. You can also get booklets and leaflets inside the museum shedding light on the items displayed.
UMM AL QUWAIN NATIONAL MUSEUM: LOCATION AND GETTING THERE
The museum is located on Al Lubna Road, Umm Al Quwain. You can reach Umm Al Quwain National Museum by car or taxi. Those travelling from other emirates can reach the city in less than an hour. Residents of Sharjah can reach Umm Al Quwain via E11 within 30 minutes, while those coming from Dubai can reach the emirate within 45 minutes.
UMM AL QUWAIN NATIONAL MUSEUM TIMINGS
Umm Al Quwain National Museum hours are as follows:
- Saturday to Thursday: 08:00 am to 02:00 pm
- Fridays: 05:00 pm to 08:00 pm
You can explore the entire museum in an hour or two, which makes it a perfect stopover on a longer tour of the emirate. In fact, this gives you plenty of time to explore other things to do in Umm Al Quwain.
You can contact the museum at this number for further details: +971-6-765-0888
UMM AL QUWAIN MUSEUM TICKET PRICES
Umm Al Quwain National Museum tickets are priced as follows:
- AED 4 for adults
- Admission is free for children under 15
The museum is an important building when it comes to preserving and presenting Umm Al Quwain history, as well as that of the UAE. The museum hosts hundreds of visitors on a daily basis, which include Emiratis, GCC nationals, expatriates and international tourists. In addition, the museum is also frequented by groups from schools, colleges and universities. It is also a great spot for families.
OTHER HISTORICAL SITES NEARBY
There is another fort in Umm Al Quwain by the name of Falaj Al Mualla Fort. This structure was built in the 19th century in the inland town of Falaj Al Ali. After a restoration project that encompassed almost a decade, the fort was opened to the public in 2015.
This completes our guide of the Umm Al Quwain National Museum. After a tour of the museum, you can also visit the many parks in Umm Al Quwain to relax or have a picnic with your family.