Explore the ancient traditions of Arabia's seafarers and be spellbound by the fruits of their labour
As our coastline rests in the shadows of the world's tallest buildings, it's easy to forget that it was once lined with small villages of industrious pearl divers, dhow builders and merchants.
Even as recently as the 1950's, 'the dive' was a prominent feature of life on what was then known as the Trucial coast. Their waters revered for bearing the fairest pearls of them all.
Thanks to the late, Sultan Ali Al-Owais, pearl collector, poet and philanthropist, Emirates NBD Pearl Museum houses one of the most exquisite collections in the world.
Be mesmerised by their beauty, get closer to the people that dedicated their lives to them, and be inspired by our Nation's modest seafaring origins.
This Museum is dedicated to 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.
Sultan Ali Al-Owais was the son of Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais, a successful pearl merchant and businessman.
While Sultan pursued a career in international banking, becoming a founder of the UAE's first National Bank, he held a deep respect for the pearl industry from which his father and tribe (the Shamsis of Sharjah) had once prospered. To preserve the memory of the Nation's traditional way of life, Sultan amassed one of the world's largest and finest pearl collections of pearls - now on display at the Emirates NBD Pearl Museum.
Remembered for his modesty, courteousness and intelligence, Sultan is also regarded as one of the Nation's foremost poetic talents.
Emirates NBD was formed on 19 June 1963, when H.H. Late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum signed the Charter of Incorporation of the National Bank of Dubai (NBD) which became the first National Bank established in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With the blessings of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, NBD merged with Emirates Bank International (EBI) on 06 March 2007, to form Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the region by assets. On 16 October 2007, the shares of Emirates NBD were officially listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). The merger created a regional consolidation blueprint for the banking and finance sector, an organization that continues to set new standards across Corporate, Retail, Islamic, Investment, and Private Banking, Global Markets & Treasury, Asset Management and Brokerage operations throughout the region.More About Emirates NBD