By 1950 Dubai was developing as one of the Gulf's most important trading posts and yet, it was the discovery of oil that transformed Dubai. As prosperity grew, a leading group of merchants including the father of the late Chairman of the Bank, Sultan Ali Al Owais, approached H.H Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum to discuss forming the first National Bank.
In 1963, the Bank was established and quickly became one of the most prominent and successful institutions in the Middle East.
Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais was a pearl trader of the Shamsi tribe of Sharjah. His son Sultan Ali Al Owais, went into international banking but continued to buy pearls and thus created one of the world's largest and finest collections.
Sultan Al Owais kept this priceless collection out of nostalgia for a way of life which has now vanished from the Gulf. His wish was 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.
This Museum is dedicated to Sultan Ali Al Owais, the late Chairman of National Bank of Dubai and his wish to display this priceless collection of natural Gulf Pearls as a tribute to the citizens of the UAE and the Gulf at large, as a reminder of a way of life now lost forever.