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Sheikh Mohammed Center For Cultural Understanding: Discover Emirati Culture Like Never Before



Sheikh Mohammed Center For Cultural Understanding Discover Emirati Culture Like Never Before

From Bedouins to becoming world leaders in monopoly, from a land that was a plain desert which is now home to the highest skyscrapers in the world, a tourist haven, and its cities offer the best lifestyle for ex-pats; the United Arab Emirates have surely come a long way and the rich history of the Emirates keep one intrigued more and more.

When you are in Dubai you must visit the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding to tickle your curious mind and gain more knowledge on the rich Arab culture while you enjoy a scrumptious Arab meal.

If you are someone who enjoys learning the culture of the land you visit and especially about the Arab world, then the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, located at Al Musallah Road, Al Fahidi, Dubai is a must-visit. The visits are designed to offer guests a peek into a traditional Emirati home, and what better way to do it than sharing a meal? 

The visit is a blend of experience and knowledge, where the guests can take away a part of the Arab culture with them to cherish for a lifetime. The center is programmed to allow the guests to understand Emirati culture and invoke curiosity toward the land. 

What To Expect In SMCCU?

The Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding takes the guests on a trip to the rich cultural heritage by hosting a cultural feast. The guests can choose between breakfast, lunch, or dinner meals accompanied by guided tours and an introduction to Arabic culture, cuisine, art, and architecture. 

What To Expect In SMCCU

The tickets are priced at AED 65 for a complete heritage tour. And meals can be opted for at an added cost. Tickets can also be pre-booked on various tourist websites. 

One can truly experience the tradition and understand the contrast between the past and the present of the Arab world. 

Sheikh Mohammed Center For Cultural Understanding Location

The Al Fahidi District is one of the oldest areas of Dubai. This little district has a rich history which reflects in its age-old mosques and other architecture. It is home to the last remaining wind tower houses. This area is one of the most important heritage sites of Dubai. It is located along the creek and one can truly visualize the meeting of the two worlds here, the old Dubai and the modern city.

The Al Fahidi district is made very accessible. The closest metro station is the Sharaf DG Metro Station, which is just 700 meters away, there are multiple bus stops in proximity, and a taxi is always at your service. There is also plenty of parking space if you choose to travel in your own vehicle.

Once you reach here, the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding should not be difficult to find, as it is one of the many wind houses present in the Al Fahidi district. 

You can also explore the Al Fahidi district while you are here. You can visit the mosques, sight visit the Fahidi Fort, or indulge in shopping for souvenirs to take back home.

“Open Doors, Open Minds”

The Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding is stationed in one of the wind houses. The walkway to the center gives its visitors a glimpse of early Dubai, its traditional attire, and its history. The walkway opens to the courtyard of the wind house, and this is where the meal is hosted.

The courtyard is a large open space with no doors and beautifully arched walls adorned with lanterns that are synonymous with the Arab world. The seating for the meals is arranged on the floor, just as they do traditionally.

The floor is carpeted and throw pillows are kept on the ground, two center tables are also added, and this is where the main dish is kept. All in all the dining area is designed in such a way that the guests can experience what it feels like to be in a traditional Emirati home. 

The sitting area is called the Majlis. Traditionally, the Majlis is a sitting room but is also used for a room where a meal is shared. The Majlis is where everyone sits in a circle to bond and enjoy. 

An Emirati host/guide takes you through the traditions and customs of the Arabs. The host/guide makes you aware of the etiquette of greeting, dining, dishes, and their ingredients, the traditional utensils, religion, and customs. The hosts are deeply knowledgeable and open to questions. They are extremely friendly and welcoming and true to the spirit of bridging the gap. 

A Dining Experience You Will Cherish

The hosts make sure that the guests stay entertained throughout the visit and that every detail is kept as authentic as possible. The guests are greeted in traditional Arabic before the food is brought in. The selection of the dishes is authentic. The food is extremely tasty and served in traditional utensils which adds to the charm of the entire experience.

A Dining Experience You Will Cherish

The food is flavorful, and it is made with traditional ingredients. Two rice dishes, chicken biryani, and Machboos are served. Saloona or stew is served in two varieties- veg and non-veg. And for dessert, maqamat or sweet dumplings are served. Each dish, its ingredients, its traditional roots, and the process of making it is explained in detail. 

Guests love the taste of this authentic scrumptious meal and genuinely enjoy the whole experience while adding up to their knowledge about Emirati culture while having a fun time with family and friends. The meal is finished with traditional Arab-style coffee and dates. The guests can relish this coffee while chatting more about the Arabic world and remove all cultural barriers, both physical and virtual.

More About Sheikh Mohammed Center For Cultural Understanding

The hosts are funny and great conversationist, the conversations are open-ended, and the hosts do not shy away from answering questions about anything related to the Arab world, be it customs or politics. 

The staff is extremely well trained and makes special efforts to ensure each guest is comfortable and has made the most of their visit.

Discussions about traditional attire are very interesting. The host explains the names and the roots of the dresses for both men and women and the religious and cultural significance of these attires are explained very well. 

The Ceremonial Goodbye

In Arabian culture, bakhoor is used during special occasions. Bakhoor is used for fragrance purposes and it holds cultural and religious importance. 

Wood chips are burned, usually agarwood, and a fragrance is added. The fragrant smoke is passed on to the guests. The guests can then enjoy its aromas and fragrance in their clothes and hair if they wish to. 

The host then enlightens the guests on the traditional goodbyes and the host says the Arabic farewell. The Arabic dialect is accentuated throughout the visit and till the end. 

A Must Visit

A window to the Arab world, a visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding will surely shape how you perceive the Arab world. With the traditional homes, the Arabic meals, open discussions, and amicable staff, this little gem is a must-visit.

An experience you will remember and hold dear, it can prove to be a special bonding time between you and your family, just as a tradition to bond over food holds. Smiling faces and curious minds are what make this place all the more special.

The Majlis, or the welcoming room is truly welcoming and sets the tone for guests to welcome and imbibe within them a fervor for Arabian traditions, and you can take home a bit of Emirates with you.

Sheikh Mohammed Center For Cultural Understanding

You will get to learn a lot of Arabic words, while the core language of communication is English so that it is easier for everyone to understand. Starting with the customary greeting, the names of the dishes, the names of the attires worn by men and women, and farewell, the Arabic dialect is upheld.

You can visit the center in groups with family and friends or as a solo knowledge seeker, no matter how you choose to visit, you will enjoy your time spent here and will be enlightened about the cultural practices in the Arab world.

The authentic Arabian cuisine served here is a class apart. It is highly flavourful, authentic, and holds true to the spirit of oneness and uniqueness. Guests can indulge in the experience of visiting an Emirati home, and every aspect is kept as authentic as possible.

You will be left impressed with this place and will long for another visit once it is over. The host will ensure that it stays a memorable one.

The Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding proves that Arabs are truly welcoming, extremely friendly, and willing to bridge gaps while keeping their traditions and culture alive.

Related Topics: Top Ways To Experience Emirati Culture In Dubai

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the timings for the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding?

The Center is open from 09:00 am to 02:00 pm on all days and 09:00 am to 01:00 pm on Saturdays.

Is photography allowed?

Yes, Visitors can capture memories on cameras and smartphones. But, respecting individual privacy is highly appreciated.

What is the entry fee?

65 AED for a general tour. There is an extra fee if you wish to opt for meals.

Are children allowed”

Yes, children are most welcome to be accompanied by their parents or guardians. The visits are enjoyed by adults and children alike. 

What type of food is served?

Delicious Arabic cuisine is served. Both veg and non-veg options are available for guests to enjoy.

Content writer with good vocabulary and experience in writing news articles, and product reviews for healthcare supplements. Decent and qualitative articles are published in various well-known portals.

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