Oh sea! Oh sea!
This is the pearl of the land
Have you in the cradles of your shells a pearl to match?

In the late 1940s and early 1950's, 'the dive' was still a main feature of life on the Trucial coast. Moreover the famous pearl banks of the Gulf provide the finest pearls in the world given the formation of the seabed, the temperature and shallowness of those waters.

Sultan Al Owais was one of Dubai’s most important pearl merchants, poets and philanthropists.

Sultan Al Owais began collecting pearls in the early 1970, constituting a large number of 'Oriental' (salt-water) pearls. Some of the finest pearls of the Gulf are part of this collection. Exquisite pieces of perfectly round unblemished silver-white pearls of metallic lustre crown the finest lots.

He donated his pearl collection to the people of the UAE under the custodianship of the National Bank of Dubai. Furthermore, to preserve this heritage, the bank has designated and created a purpose-built museum in its Headquarters building where this collection is displayed.He had a wish that the pearls should be available to remind people of the origins of the Emirates and what life was like before the discovery of oil.

The main objective of the museum is to help preserve the colourful history of the pearl divers and merchants of Arabia.