The People of Dubai

Walk a mile in the lives of the Dubai Creek’s inhabitants; their lifestyles, professions and traditions.

By Al Shindagha Museum

The People of Dubai ExhibitionAl Shindagha Museum

The narrative of this exhibition at Al Shindagha Museum zooms into the everyday, collective lives of the people of Dubai; people who have experienced life by the creek in the past speak about their experiences as they relate to various themes.

The space is surrounded by a large-scale illustrated fresco depicting people on the creek, on land and everywhere in between.

The People of Dubai ExhibitionAl Shindagha Museum

From traditional home life to vital jobs, the Dubai Creek community cannot be fully understood without knowing about the lives, the work, and the traditions of the inhabitants.

With concentrated sound and an intimate environment, visitors can appreciate what life and work around the Dubai Creek was like, from the authentic perspectives of ten individuals, each represented in a copper and mirror-clad obelisk.

People of Dubai: Life of a Craftswoman - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

Additionally, a variety of historical objects are on display representing life in Dubai as a child, a homemaker, a pearl merchant, a boat builder, a customs agent, a policeman, a religious cleric, a craftswoman, a shop-owner and a fisherman.

The idea behind the design of this space is to enhance the sense of discovery and to engage the public with interesting and different stories told by the people of Dubai.

People of Dubai Series – Life of a Pearl MerchantAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a Pearl Merchant Hamad Rahma Al Shamsi remembers his former life as a Pearl Merchant or Tawwash in the Dubai of yesteryears. Pearl diving and trading was a major pillar of the flourishing Creekside economy, and Al Shamsi shares a few secrets to help us better understand the trade and the tradition.

People of Dubai: Life of a Pearl Merchant - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

These nose clips along with a coiled pearling rope made out of whicker and a lead weight, were used by pearl divers to speed up their descent into the depths of the waters.

People of Dubai: Life of a Pearl Merchant - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai Series – Life as a ChildAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life as a Child Listen to the childhood memories of Salem Ahmad Al Moosa, as he recalls swimming with friends in the waters of the Dubai creek. Learn about their makeshift toys and simple joys or their journey to school in Deira, on the opposite bank of the creek.

The People of Dubai ExhibitionAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai Series – Life of a FishermanAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a FishermanJoin Ali Mohammad Al Mamari on a journey into the past as he recounts a tale of simpler times, when fishermen would go out to capture fresh catch of the day and bring it back to be sold at the marketplace.

People of Dubai: Life of a Fisherman - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

Fishing tools such as metallic fishing hooks, a fishing string and a lead weight, used for sinking the hook are on display here.

People of Dubai Series – Life of a HomemakerAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a HomemakerIn a society where men would often be out at sea for months on end to earn their livelihood, women became a pillar of the household, taking care of their families as well as maintaining their homes. Moza Al Mazroui remembers what life was like as a homemaker back in the days, when the entire neighborhood lived together as one large family.

People of Dubai: Life of a Homemaker - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

This display features a traditional cooking pot and ladle made out of copper alloy. Such pots were used traditionally to cook Harees, an Emirati wheat and meat dish.

People of Dubai Series – Life of a PolicemanAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a PolicemanEstablished in 1956, Dubai’s police force has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Former Major General Nasser Al Razooki remembers the first police station in the emirate, the first female police officer, the first uniforms and the first priority of the Dubai Police – to be trusted guardians of the emirate’s people.

People of Dubai: Life of a Policeman - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

A leather utility belt worn by guards, featuring suspenders and bullet holders is on display here.

People of Dubai Series – Life of a Customs AgentAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a Customs AgentWatch Sultan Al Joker reminisce about the bustling business of merchants and the historical journey of goods, from and to the Souqs at Dubai Creek and the vision of late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in harnessing the global economic potential of this creekside marketplace.

People of Dubai: Life of a Customs Agent - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

This display features a box, dating back to 1940, used by Emirati customs agents with a stamp and ink pad inside.

People of Dubai Series – Life of a Religious ClericAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a Religious ClericA religious cleric is to his society, as a father to his family, says Dr. Sheikh Essa Bin Manea Al Homairy as he explains how the role of a religious cleric has always been to look out for the welfare of the people in the community. In an era before modern education, these clerics used the wisdom and teachings of the Holy Quran to enlighten people and impart knowledge wherever needed.

People of Dubai: Life of a Religious Cleric - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

This display features religious prayer beads and books belonging to a religious cleric.

People of Dubai Series – Life of a CraftswomanAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a Craftswoman Salama Al Suwaidi weaves a fascinating narrative of a generation of women who gathered together, helping each other contribute to the city’s economy as artisans embroidering garments for different occasions across the year.

People of Dubai: Life of a Craftswoman - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

A colorful pillow of the Kajoojah, an embroidery tool, used as a surface upon which silver Talli (embroidery) was made and the sleeve of a dress featuring silver Talli is on display.

People of Dubai Series – Life of a Shop OwnerAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a Shop OwnerEnter the shop of Hashim Al-Haj Nasser, which first opened its doors almost a century ago, and get immersed in a bygone era where trust was the predominant currency in Souqs (markets) where promises were traded, and relationships were earned.

The People of Dubai ExhibitionAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai Series – Life as a Boat BuilderAl Shindagha Museum

People of Dubai: Life of a Boat BuilderDiscover the journey of a Jallaaf (boat builder) and the types of boats they built back in the days, in the words of Mohammad bin Thani bin Harib Al Falasi

People of Dubai: Life of a Boat Builder - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

Boat building tools including a mallet hammer, a hand drill, a chisel, and a measuring tape are on display.

People of Dubai: Life of a Boat Builder - DisplayAl Shindagha Museum

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