Exploring the World of Pearls at the Dubai Pearl Museum

Unveiling the Beauty and Symbolism of the Persian Gulf's Most Precious Gems

Dubai is home to a treasure trove’s worth of undiscovered treasures. The Dubai Pearl Museum may be found at the Emirates National Bank building in Deira. It’s a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to the history of pearl diving in the United Arab Emirates.

Before oil was discovered, the Gulf’s warm, shallow waters were responsible for producing some of the world’s finest pearls. In addition to displaying beautiful pearls, the Dubai Pearl Museum also tells the narrative of the Gulf’s path to becoming a leading producer of flawless pearls.

Many divers’ expeditions are documented here, and their histories are recounted. Precious pearls used to rule this market before the oil era. The Gulf’s favorable climate, shallow waters, and naturally formed sea beds all played roles in the region’s ability to produce pearls.

Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais, a major pearl merchant in the 1940s and 1950s, and his son, Sultan Al Owais, had the foresight to donate a large collection of these wonderful natural wonders to the Emirates NBD Pearl Museum.

Dubai Pearl Museum
Dubai Pearl Museum

There are bills, currencies, maps, wooden chests, tools, and scales used by merchants, as well as pearl jewelry of many styles made from thousands of immaculate pearls shown against a crimson velvet background to highlight their shine.

A pearl’s worth is determined by its size and color. The best pearls have a teardrop or pear form, and they should be a silvery white or golden color.

The museum honors the lives of the divers and sailors who harvested and transported the priceless cargo by showcasing the instruments and tools they used.

Please note that in order to visit the Pearl Museum, prior arrangements must be made with Emirates NBD. They recommend no more than 8-10 guests and a maximum of roughly 20 for bigger groups. Located on the 15th level, the museum overlooks Deira’s Emirates NBD bank. Nakheel station on the Dubai Metro is just a kilometer away from the bank.

Pearl Museum in Dubai
Pearl Museum in Dubai

Who was Sultan Ali Al-Owais?

This museum is a monument to the people of the UAE and the Gulf region in general, housing the late chairman of the National Bank of Dubai’s rare collection of natural Gulf pearls.

Sultan Ali Al-Owais was the son of pearl trader and businessman Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais.

Although Sultan went into international finance and helped build the first national bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he never forgot the pearl trade that had made a fortune for his father and tribe (the Shamsis of Sharjah).

Sultan accumulated one of the world’s largest and best pearl collections, which is currently on exhibit at the Emirates NBD Pearl Museum, to honor the heritage of the UAE and its people.

In addition to being one of the greatest poets the Nation has ever produced, Sultan is remembered fondly for his humility, politeness, and brilliance.

Pearl Museum in Dubai, UAE
Pearl Museum in Dubai, UAE

What will you learn about pearls at Dubai Pearl Museum?

Everything from dhow (boat) culture to the diving process itself is covered in the Pearl Museum. You can really get a sense of what it was like for these divers by reading about the hardships they endured at sea and the ways in which they kept their spirits up.

Did you know, for instance, that each and every dhow used for pearl diving has its very own musician? And did you know that pearl divers start their training as young as eleven years old?!

Before oil was discovered in Dubai, the pearl industry was the backbone of the economy. The museum gives an in-depth account of Dubai’s pearl trade, from the methods used by merchants to make agreements to the most popular destinations for pearl exports.

If you’re interested in learning more about pearls and becoming a connoisseur, the museum has all you need to know. Size, weight, form, color, and luster are all factors in determining a pearl’s value, which you’ll learn how to evaluate. The difference between natural pearls and those grown in a laboratory will also be explained.

Jewelry made from pearls was formerly Dubai’s primary trading commodity. Therefore, they were not necessarily incorporated into other types of jewelry. However, pearls are ideal for jewelry because they may be utilized ‘as-found’; no further cutting is required to improve their brightness or luster. The museum displays several stunning artifacts that really highlight the exquisite pearls.

Dubai Pearl Museum in UAE
Dubai Pearl Museum in UAE

How to get a ticket to Dubai Pearl Museum?

The Emirates National Bank now houses the Pearl Museum on its 15th floor. It is home to one of the finest collections of saltwater pearls in the world. The exhibit is so luxurious that it’s worth visiting the museum to get a peek at it.

But the Pearl Museum’s purpose is more than a display of opulence. The Pearl Museum in Dubai delves into the rich historical and cultural significance of pearls and pearl diving in the city.

When compared to other museums in Dubai, the Pearl Museum stands out. There is no regular business schedule. You can’t just go into the Emirates National Bank lobby and buy a ticket to get there. Instead, you need to schedule a guided museum tour in advance by contacting the museum directly. They can protect the priceless exhibit and the bank’s other valuables using this method.

Pearl Museum, Dubai, UAE
Pearl Museum, Dubai, UAE

Final words about Dubai Pearl Museum

In the early 1970s, Sultan Al Owais established a collection of pearls that would eventually grow to include a vast quantity of ‘Oriental’ (saltwater) pearls. This collection features some of the finest pearls ever found in the Gulf. The finest lots are topped with exquisite pieces of perfectly spherical, flaw-free silver-white pearls with a metallic shine.

The National Bank of Dubai now holds its pearl collection as a gift to the citizens of the United Arab Emirates. The bank has also designated and constructed a museum in its Headquarters building to house this collection in an effort to preserve this history for future generations.

He hoped that keeping the pearls in circulation would serve as a constant reminder of the Emirates’ historical roots and of living there before oil was discovered.

Hope you find this article helpful. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and let us know what you think about this museum, and share your experience of visiting this place with us.

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