The Crossroads of Civilizations Museum (CCM) started from a private collection of one family, which the founder, Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, endeavored to build upon over the past thirty years. He originally housed the collection in his home behind glass cabinets and it was where he once hosted a talk on the Arabian Gulf, documenting its history and geographic significance throughout the ages using original maps which he owned. The Director of Architectural Heritage Department at Dubai Municipality, who was present at that talk, discussed with him opening this important collection to public viewing.
It has now grown to a group of three museums that are all about civilizations meeting one another peacefully and under one roof. What made a deep impression on our founder, as young man, is the significance of this collection: they were artefacts that are a remnant and a glimpse, of past civilizations that traded and exchanged gifts as they passed through the region. He says – “This ability to trade with one another, and exchange gifts which have now become artefacts; has shown the positive evidence for the interaction of civilizations based on mutual benefits as well as respect and tolerance”.
Moreover, it showed that “there was some sense of regulation and assurance that encouraged others to bring their goods to pass through Dubai. Trade was carried out without International Law or any diplomatic missions. Traders did not know foreign languages and had no international platforms to bring the world together, as we do today. However, they still exchanged goods, even though they came from different ethnic backgrounds, beliefs and religion”.
Ahmed Al Mansoori says: “The historical past illustrated in this collection demonstrates that the current vision, multiculturalism and, progress in Dubai has stemmed from its ancient culture which welcomed all civilizations to settle or to cross through its town. CCM’s objective is not only to reflect the true old spirit of Dubai where civilizations were crossing and exchanging goods through barter deals with peace and respect; but also to highlight the past that united the history of humanity prior to any political agreements, in order to provide an opportunity for future generations to see the benefit, the beauty and positivity in other cultures and civilizations- instilling the essence of plurality, diversity and multiculturalism”.
Amongst the many awards received since CCM opened its doors, was the award by the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) for The Best Museum in 2015. “For its role in highlighting and conserving the Gulf heritage as well as connecting future generations to their heritage”. Please visit Awards page for more information.