Dubai: Numerous historic and rare antiques valued at an estimated Dh100 million are now on display – with some artefacts on sale – at the Museum Hub which opened on Wednesday at Souk Al Marfa, the waterfront souk and marketplace on Deira Islands.
Emirati Naser Sulaiman, founder of Museum Hub, said he has “been collecting the artefacts and antiques for over 25 years now with the aim to educate and inspire tourists, expats and younger generations to learn about UAE’s rich heritage and the advancements it has made in the past 50 years”.
He added: “Collectors will also have access to a rare collection that has not been tapped into before,” noting Museum Hub is divided into 50 booths displaying rare collection of objects of artistic, cultural, historical and scientific importance.
He said visiting Museum Hub is like a “travel back in time to learn about the rich history of the UAE. Here, we are providing an opportunity for the younger generation, expats and tourists to get a glimpse of the pre-millennium lifestyle and the unique heritage of the UAE. Museum Hub contains over Dh100 million worth of hand-collected antiques and medical instruments dating back between 40 and 200 years old or more, available for both observing and purchasing.”
Sulaiman has put on display for the first time items he has collected for years. Each booth or ‘museum’ at the Museum Hub is dedicated to a particular theme like the ‘Sewing Machine Museum’ where one can find old brands such as Singer, Brother and Yazima. There is also a pearl, jewelery museum, furniture museum, tea and coffee museum, bakery, chocolate and confectionary museum.
Sulaiman is particularly proud of his agal and ghutra collection. He also put on display storage boxes, leather suitcases, and even miscellaneous items such as old prepaid cards and postal stamps. There are also coins made of gold, silver and other precious metals used for over 150 years ago.
Aside from precious antiques, there are also handmade paintings of UAE leaders as well as military uniforms and antiquated canons, gun holsters, bullet cartridges and other military items.
There are also old medical equipment that were used before the formation of the UAE in the 1960s, including a full set of medical bed, with several aneroid sphygmomanometer (used to measure blood pressure) on the side.
Also on display are rahle (Arabic lectern) made of bamboo sticks and sundries of Arabic lamps, hand-made metal tools, walking sticks, vinyl records, gramophones and classic musical
Not to be missed are old ice cream maker, farming and carpentry tools, incense burners with ornate carvings, specimens of UAE noted and old UAE vehicle plate numbers.
Sulaiman noted: “The Hub aims to grow the collection by launching an additional 50 museums by September and 50 every six months after that.”
Muath Abdulqader Alrais, general manager at Souk Al Marfa, said: “We are excited to be bringing residents and visitors the opportunity to observe multiple collections of the country’s most historical advancements under one roof. We look forward to welcoming visitors and providing a unique experience to all.”
Museum Hub is free to enter and open from 12 noon to 12 midnight from Sunday to Thursday; 2pm to 2am on Fridays; and 12pm to 2am on Saturdays.
Souk Al Marfa has 4,000 parking spots, and public transport is readily available, with free buses provided by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) from Gold Souk daily between 6am to 11pm, as well as the newly opened abra and ferry services connecting Souk Al Marfa to Dubai Old Souq, Deira Old Souq and Al Ghubaiba.