The Mighty Emirates National Auto Museum of Abu Dhabi


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Abu Dhabi, one of the greatest global superpowers of the recent time, has become colossal cultural and tourism hub of the world. The city is best known for its stupendous car collection. Right from the Ferrari World to the Yas Marina Circuit, the Emirates National Auto Museum has emerged as one of the major tourist attraction spots of Abu Dhabi in recent times. The people of Abu Dhabi know this prodigious museum as the ENAM. 

ENAM was opened in the year 2004. It is located around 45 Kilometres south of Abu Dhabi on the lonely highway that leads to Liwa Oasis. The substantial structure of this museum resembles “a pyramid”.  The amazing collection of cars belongs to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan. He has an astounding collection of over 400 vehicles till date. Out of this amassed collection, only around 230 are on display for the visitors to see in this beautiful pyramid-shaped museum. HH Sheikh Hamad has had collected all his dream cars from all around the world. They approximately valued a huge amount of 25 million dollars. Being a royal family member, Sheikh Hamad was popularly known as the Rainbow Sheikh. He spent a big amount in procuring seven Mercedes 500 SELs in the year 1983. True to his given name, these cars are all painted in the rainbow colours for each day of the week. Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan, being a car fanatic, launched an assortment of 4 wheel-drive models at the museum in the first major addition.

Initially, this collection remained private for HH Sheikh Hamad. His fantasy for the cars eventually grew and soon his private collection became enigmatic and large. Finally, he decided to open this collection for the people of Abu Dhabi to see. He opened this museum to the people as a gift to his community. ENAM was previously built to shelter all his famous and precious cars as well as trucks. Most of his cars were procured during the 1950s to 1990s. The prime objective of showcasing all the top car models in the museum was to provide technical support to the car consumers considering a new purchase. This museum is, in fact, an important information provider to all car consumers. As a car enthusiast himself, Rainbow Sheikh spends most of his time in the development and new advancements in the automobile industry in the emirate.

 ENAM is slightly different from the other conventional car museums. Housed under one large roof, there are many unique designed vintage cars as well as pretty common cars. Here you can see both European and American cars grandly displayed for the visitors. It has a fascinating collection of World’s largest truck, Classic American Cars, and Mercedes Rainbow Collection. An enormous collection of off-road automobiles is also on display in this splendid museum. The oldest among them is a steam-powered 1885 Mercedes. Some of the collections were even featured in the BBC television programme Top Year. As a matter of fact, this museum holds an important position as a research topic for global car investigators and analysts. A lot has been written about this impressive museum for years. In fact, this is also an important thesis for research fellows in this field.

Emirates National Auto Museum features the largest pickup in the world. It has an extensive collection starting from a classic Vintage Cadillac, to Mercedes, 4*4 Lamborghini, a Bugatti, Fords, Chevy’s, Land Rovers, Fiat, etc. apart from the mighty cars, the museum holds pride in displaying some of the classic cars as well. There is almost all variety of cars present in this museum. You name it and you get it! The museum also has a brilliant collection of 10 prototypes racing cars. Well, the specialty of Emirates National Auto Museum actually lies in the variation of its displayed cars. Apart from the grand collection, the maintenance of all these vehicles is stupendous over here. Moreover, all the cars are in its best condition here at ENAM. The Greatest Rainbow Sheikh has made all arrangements to keep his favourite vehicles at the top of its shape and order.

People from all around the world appreciate all the cars owned by Sheikh Hamad. Some of the cars and automobiles were apparently bought from the proprietor itself. For instance, a customised camper van. Few other cars were gifted to HH Rainbow Sheikh by the Presidents from all various countries. Sheikh Hamad has customised few of his giant cars as per his choice and desire. Some of these cars are displayed as the original company issued conditions at ENAM. The rainbow coloured Mercedes, which is one of the most popular attractions here, is all well fitted with amenities like refrigerators and televisions. Apart from the rainbow coloured Mercedes, a number of other cars are also painted in rainbow colours or have a rainbow logo tinted on them. These cars have identical seats and hubcaps. The latest addition to this awe-inspiring collection is a wall of glass-encased SUVs. This is placed outside this glorious museum.

Let us take you through some of the major displays in the Emirates National Auto Museum: –

  1. One of the greatest attractions of the ENAM, the WW2 Willy’s Jeep at a 400% bigger size than the original is something you would never want to give a miss too. It is the World’s largest motorised model. Interestingly, WW2 Willy’s Jeep is mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records, 2012.
  2. The World’s Largest Truck is on display here at the ENAM next to Willy’s Jeep. It has the ability to pull the World’s Largest Caravan. It is fashioned after 1950s Dodge Power Wagon. Besides, this vehicle was used during the oil era.
  3. You can find the Dodge here at a number of sizes. The most exciting, however, is the 5- metre high model. The majestic replica of the Dodge Power Wagon here at the ENAM is 8 times bigger its original size. It weighs around 50 tons. It has 4 bedrooms, a sitting room and a balcony inside it that attracts the amaze of visitors coming here in masses. 
  4. The size of the monster of a caravan is a four-storey building. It has also entered into the Guinness Book of Records in the year 1993 as the biggest caravan in the world.
  5. The Earth on Wheels is a 10-bedroom caravan. As the name suggests, it is actually made in the shape of the Earth. It is exactly one-millionth the size of our planet.
  6. Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III is also on display in this museum. This model was used by Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II during her last visit to Dubai in 1979.
  7. Benz Patent-MotorWagen was built in 1885. This was the first ever automobile. The vehicle functions due to the combustion engine.
  8. Hummer H1, a famous off-road vehicle based on Humvee. It was manufactured from 1992-2006. This is the classic US army automobile. It is used for its ability to travel on all types of ground, including rough grounds.
  9. An eight-wheel drive Nissan Patrol is great for driving around the sand dunes. This is the car of Sheikh Hamad’s choice.
  10. There is a brand-new New York City Taxi. It even had a window sticker on it.
  11. There are a number of military vehicles on display. The children are allowed to climb these vehicles. One of them even has a golfing range on top.
  12. It is evident from his collection that Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan is a Star Wars Fan. The VW Euro Van had the widest Star Wars theme painted on it.

The Car Park

Muscle cars like Trans Am in all its glory are on display along with East German Trabant here at the ENAM. The car park accommodates several iconic vehicles. It includes HH Rainbow Sheikh’s monster truck that has an eight-bedroom in it. The motorhome is a beautiful piece of architecture with balcony, and the Globe Trailer dubbed the ‘earth on wheels’.

The beautiful balcony inside this splendid museum runs around the entire interior of the building. There are four cars displayed up there at the moment. You can click some good pictures across the interior of the museum to the giant Dodge. This place is, in fact, most loved by tourists to capture best moments. These pictures are going to be with you forever. As you go back home you can reminisce over these snaps clicked at the ENAM. 

The Emirates National Auto Museum has its own workshop, located at the back of the huge building. All the displayed cars of the museum are well maintained in this workshop. You will be wondered to know that all the vehicles of this monumental museum are in driving conditions. None of them are only for show. The workshop puts immense efforts to keep all the cars in driving condition apart from maintaining its charm and glory. The vehicles hold information poster on them that narrates their history. In case you didn’t find it any of them, the museum guide will help you in knowing about the origin information of the particular car.

Museum Timings and Other Information

The Emirates National Auto Museum is open for the visitors all seven days of the week. The timing is from 9 AM to 6 PM. However, this timing is subjected to change as and when required. The entry ticket to this princely museum costs only AED 50 for each adult visiting here. For children up to the age of 10 years, the entry fee is absolutely free.

The museum was closed for a public visit in the first few months of 2017 due to the renovation works. It was reopened on 24/10/2017 with a greater pomp and show. It has a palatial new gate now that catches every eye. The latest additions to this museum give a new perspective to every individual.

A coffee shop is introduced inside the museum for the tourists to relax. Recently, the museum has added a new exhibition of sport utility vehicles. It is an array of 4 wheel-drive models. It is simply marvellous and breathe taking to watch these grand vehicles from such close. Sheikh Rainbow has not left any stone unturned to enhance the content and charm of this magnificent museum. The world knows the Emirate Sheikhs for their passion and patronage. Sheikh Rainbow has done full justice to this glory and has turned upside down to magnify the content and attractiveness of this beautiful museum.  

Ending Words

The Emirates National Auto Museum narrates the tale of Sheikh Hamad’s World of Automobiles and his enthusiasm towards automobiles. This auto museum is a hub for car enthusiasts for all around the world. The brilliant car collection in this marvellous museum never ceases to amaze the tourists. This place is, in fact, a gem situated in the middle of the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi. The Emirates National Auto Museum will surely grab your attention, next time when you visit Abu Dhabi. From old models to unbelievable modern day cars, all are here under one roof. It is one of the best and most sought-after points of interest in the city. The venue has greatly improved the tourism industry in the city. From car enthusiasts to avid travellers, it has the ability to draw hundreds of tourists on an everyday basis. Apart from sight-seeing visitors, the museum attracts research scholar from the automobile industry.

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