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  • Writer's pictureAndi Dela Torre Griffiths

Up Close with Icons at Madame Tussauds Museum in Dubai

Hello everyone. I hope you're doing well wherever you are while reading this post.

I’m taking you to a wax figure museum today- the famous Madame Tussauds; not in London or New York, but in Dubai, UAE. Let’s go!

Audrey Hepburn wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Dubai, UAE | Travel blog

Location | Madame Tussauds Museum in Dubai

Address: Bluewaters Mall, The Wharf at Bluewaters Island, Dubai, UAE.

Bluewaters Island is an artificial island that offers plenty of restaurants, boutiques, souvenir shops, and walking spaces. It is where the Ain Dubai is (world's largest and highest ferris wheel). It wasn’t operational when we visited, though.

Bluewaters Dubai | Bluewaters Mall, UAE

Where to Get Your Tickets

You can purchase tickets from their website or through any of the following: Headout, Cobone, and Klook (link below):

Where to get tickets for Madame Tussauds Dubai, UAE travel blog

We got the standard admission ticket online from a discount app, which was great because the rates were cheaper. It came with their VIP Digi Photo Pass, which you can use to download the photos you take in the selfie kiosks inside the museum.

Who is Madame Tussaud? Is she real?

Yes, she is real. Before she was Madame Tussaud, she was Marie Grosholtz, a Frenchwoman who moved to Switzerland with her mom after her father died in the war. There, they both worked for a physician named Philippe Curtius.

Marie Grosholtz Tussaud | History of Madame Tussaud Wax Museum | Dubai, UAE

This doctor Philippe (who made wax sculptures to illustrate anatomy) was the one who introduced Marie to wax modeling and helped her develop the necessary skills to master the craft. When he gave up his medical career and pursued wax modeling as an art, Marie joined him in his exhibitions.

It Hasn’t Always Been Glitzy | The Dark Past

Madame Tussauds may now be a popular destination known for its impressive and glamorous wax models, but as we can learn from her story, life is never all gold and glitter.

Marie and her mom went to prison during the French Revolution (online records mention that they sympathized with the royals, as she was a tutor in the Palace of Versailles). With this, the executioners shaved her head in preparation for her beheading. Many heads rolled literally during this gruesome time. Luckily, she got saved with the help of Philippe's connection.

After this, she was hired to make death masks and sculptures of dead people, those who got guillotined at that time (including the King and Queen)- a contrast from what the sculptors at her exhibits create today.

Some of the public figures inside Madame Tussauds Dubai

Marie's mentor, Philippe Curtius, left his wax collection to Marie when he died.

The first wax museum was founded in London in the 1830s. From there, they branched over and put up branches in different parts of the world, adding celebrities and public figures recognized in their respective regions. Here’s a photo inside their wax exhibit in Dubai.

Inside Madame Tussauds wax museum in Dubai, UAE

So yeah, that’s it. Learning about the backstories of notable individuals is just as interesting as the individuals themselves- these stories give a realistic view of the journey. It shows the not-so-pretty parts, the struggles, and the sacrifices behind success.

The Zones | Who to find Inside the Museum

There are five zones inside Madame Tussauds Dubai: Leaders, Fashion, Film, Media, Bollywood, Sports, and the A-List Music Party.

My favorites were the Leaders, Fashion, and Music zones.

The Experience + Photos

You will find the establishment right away once you arrive at Bluewaters Mall. They have a big, Red, and sparkly signage outside that is impossible to miss. That is the souvenir store, though. The entrance to the attraction is inside the mall. It's also easy to spot with their logo and the signature Red background.

For starters, the place looks gorgeous. There’s a lot of Red, Gold, and shiny things. Glamorous branding. They are consistent with it throughout the experience.

Inside the souvenir store at Madame Tussauds

Say hello to Lady Gaga. When you visit, she will be the first to greet you before you claim your passes and photo pass at the reception area. If you want souvenir-style photos, keep the Digi Photo Pass. It has the barcode you need to scan to use their selfie kiosks.

Lady Gaga at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Dubai | Travel blog

Now, for the experience, it was fantastic. It was fun from start to finish because there were a lot of displays, and the place was vibrant.

The staff members were friendly and offered to take our photos multiple times. It didn’t feel awkward to pose and have fun. Not to mention that there are also some props (in some areas) that you can use when you take photos with the figures.

Leaders Zone

Here are some photos from the first zone, where you can find India's Prime Minister Modi, former Pakistani stateswoman Benazir Bhutto, China's Xi Jinping, Queen Elizabeth II, Melania Trump, Donald Trump, and John Travolta (not sure why he is here). You can also find Marie Tussaud on the side.

Benazir Bhutto | Pakistan's former Prime Minister
The controversial Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan is the first female Prime Minister in the Muslim world.
Former US president Donald Trump | Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Dubai
Queen Elizabeth II | Madame Tussauds Dubai, UAE travel blog

Fashion Zone

The fashion zone was, well, fashionable. This is where you can find the Beckhams (David & Victoria), Anna Wintour, and the Kattan sisters, among others.

Cara Delevingne and Kylie Jenner at Madame Tussauds Dubai

The Jenner sisters had glam setups; Kylie's theme was large jewelry, while Kendall had a corner closet with cute outfits. The Blue fur coat I wore below was from the wardrobe.

In the middle, you can find a small ramp where you can strut your outfit or take photos on the backdrop. There are bags and accessories available to use as props.

Gallery (scroll to the right to view photos)

Kendall Jenner wax figure at Madame Tussauds Dubai

Film Zone

In the Film zone is where they display iconic characters in movies, like Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) from the Hunger Games series, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) from the Mission Impossible series, and legendary actor/martial artist Jackie Chan from dozens of action movies.

"There is a hero in all of us" Red neon sign
Jackie Chan's wax figure at Madame Tussauds Dubai | World of Warcraft
Audrey Hepburn's wax figure at Madame Tussauds Dubai, UAE

Gallery (scroll to the right to view photos)

They also have Spiderman, World of Warcraft’s Sir Anduin Lothar, and Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) from The Fast and The Furious series.

Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) from The Fast & The Furious

If you want a director or producer moment, there’s a corner where you can take photos with a production chair and a clapperboard.

The Film zone at Madame Tussauds

Local Stars

Before you get to the Bollywood section, you will pass through a hall of local stars where you can catch the following: radio show host and musician Kris Fade, Emirati comedian Bin Baz (the one with the Instagram frame), Emirati singer Balqees Ahmed Fahti, Egyptian producer Hassan El Shafei, and Egyptian actor Ahmed Fahmi (the one with an interview chair you can sit on, so it looks like he is interviewing you).

Gallery (scroll to the right to view photos)

Bollywood Zone

The Bollywood zone was the most colorful and lively. We did not know the personalities here, but we took our time checking them out because they all had creative backdrops. So colorful. I guess that's a Bollywood thing.

Katrina Kaif at Madame Tussaud Dubai, UAE

Also, they had a beautiful entrance covered with flowers; this leads to a dance floor where you can take a video of yourself dancing. All you have to do is follow the steps on the screen.

Bollywood stars' wax figures at Madame Tussauds Dubai in UAE
Bollywood stars Kareena Kapoor & Madhuri Dixit | Madame Tussauds Dubai, UAE | Bluewaters Island

Interactive Sport Zone

Present in the interactive Sport zone are the following superstars: Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor of Dublin, British racer Lewis Hamilton, and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.

The "Sport" zone at Madame Tussauds in Bluewaters Island
"The Notorious" Conor McGregor of Dublin, Ireland | Madame Tussaud Wax Museum Dubai

Gallery (scroll to the right to view photos)

Other stars you can find here include Moldovan-Emirati judoka Sergiu Toma, weightlifter Amna Al Haddad, Arabian soccer player Yasser Al-Qahtani, and cricket players Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar.

Music Party

The last stop is the Music Party, where you can chill with local and international music icons. They have Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, Mohammed Assaf, and Maya Diab.

Mohammed Assef and Maya Diab at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum Dubai

Make sure to check out the DJ booth and the bar setups.

Madame Tussauds Dubai Nights, UAE

Miley Cyrus reminded me of entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran at first glance (maybe because of the hair?).

Miley Cyrus at Madame Tussauds Dubai, UAE
Taylor Swift at Madame Tussauds Dubai, UAE

Gallery (scroll to the right to view photos)

Some Trivia About Madame Tussauds

  • The spelling used to be Madame Tussaud's, but they have removed the apostrophe, so now it's Madame Tussauds.

  • Marie’s first creation was a wax figure of the French philosopher Voltaire.

  • She inherited the wax exhibition of her mentor, Philippe Curtius.

How long does it take to finish going around Madame Tussauds?

Each section offers a different experience, and you might want to stay longer in one of them. I'd say it takes one to two hours to explore the whole museum (based on our experience going there during non-peak hours).

Race car driver Lewis Hamilton at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Dubai

Others | Tips

  • There is a water dispenser right outside the mall. I suggest bringing a tumbler (you can fill it up whenever, and it's good to stay hydrated);

  • Food and drinks are not allowed inside;

  • Take as many photos at the selfie kiosks because you can download them later on for free, they are good to have as souvenirs.

So, is it worth visiting Madame Tussauds Museum in Dubai? I'd say yes. That would be all for today. For more Dubai blog posts, see the Food & Travel section of the blog.


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