Saruq Al Hadid Museum
Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum in Dubai
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Saruq Al Hadid (“The Way of Iron”) in Dubai is among the most important archaeological sites in the Emirates. It was discovered in 2002 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. When flying across the Rub Al-Khali desert in his helicopter, he spotted a strange large black deposit. Upon investigation, it turned out to be a slag created from smelting copper and iron dating back to the Iron Age. The discovered location became the main excavation site for the items showcased at the Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum.

Opened in 2016, the museum can be found in the Shindagha Heritage District of Dubai. A couple of words should be told about the structure that houses the museum. It was built in 1928 by Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum and served as his residence. One of the finest examples of Dubai’s traditional architecture, the building is made of local materials. During its conversion into a museum, the original structure was carefully preserved.

Some of the artefacts on display at the Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum.

About 3, 000 years ago, the Saruq Al Hadid site used to be a centre of trade and metallurgy, so at the museum, visitors can explore the evolution of the Iron Age in the region. On view is a plethora of ancient artefacts such as weapons, which include various types of swords and daggers, made from bronze, iron, and other metals. The other exhibited metal works include vessels, work tools, pots, toys, and utensils. One can also admire jewellery, different ornate objects, and precious stones on view.

The museum is divided into several sections. The tour of the museum starts with Mysteries of Saruq Al-Hadid, an immersive audio-visual experience. Set in a 3D cinematic room, it takes the visitors to the Saruq Al-Hadid desert while giving detailed information about this site’s discovery and the ongoing archaeological works there. The second section, The Mysteries and Stories of Saruq Al-Hadid, features a film about the most significant items unearthed in Saruq Al-Hadid and the questions they pose for us to resolve. In the sections The Site Today and Saruq al-Hadid Through Time, one can learn about the history of the site: industrial activity, trade, and daily life in Iron Age Arabia.

Some of the artefacts on display at the Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum.

In The Laboratory section, both grown-ups and children are invited to use interactive workstations and try replicating some of the museum’s exhibits. The visitors receive step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task. For instance, one is offered to reconstruct a pot or help the experts with solving the Saruq Al-Hadid mysteries.

Besides, at the museum, the visitors have a thrilling opportunity to become a real archaeologist and dig up some treasures at the specially designed simulated excavation site. Everyone who wants to take part in this fun activity is given a sheet to describe their discovery: for example, tell about the colour of the artefact or draw its sketch.

Young guests of the museum are paid special attention to. They have their own gallery trail (The Kids Trail) keeping them entertained. Children can learn about history through games and a treasure hunt, so no little adventure seeker will get bored.

To learn more about the museum, please visit its official web page.

You may also be interested in exploring the Qasr al Muwaiji fort, Hatta Heritage Village and Jumeirah Archaeological Site.

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