9 Exciting Cultural Activities to Experience in Dubai

Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. While it is
known for its modern architecture and luxury lifestyle, Dubai also values and promotes its traditional Arab
and Islamic roots. Here are some aspects of Dubai’s culture:

illuminated contemporary building on seashore at night

1. Islamic Influence:

Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Dubai’s culture reflects this influence. Mosques are an essential part of the city’s architecture, and Islamic customs and traditions are observed by the local population.

muslim arabian cheerful mother in hijab with happy son

2. Arab Hospitality:

Dubai is known for its warm hospitality and welcoming nature. The Emirati people are known to be friendly and generous, often offering traditional Arabic coffee (Gahwa) and dates as a gesture of hospitality.

people riding on horses

3. Traditional Dress:

The traditional Emirati clothing for men is the kandura or dishdasha, which is a long white robe, while women wear the abaya and sheyla, which are black robes covering the body. Many locals still wear these traditional garments, although Western clothing is also prevalent.

woman in yellow hijab and abaya

4. Arabic Language:

Arabic is the official language of Dubai and is widely spoken. However, due to the city’s multicultural environment, English is commonly used as a business and tourist language.

grayscale photo of a man wearing keffiyeh

5. Cuisine:

Emirati cuisine is a blend of flavors from the Arab world, Persia, and the Indian subcontinent. Traditional dishes include Machbous (spiced rice with meat), Harees (a wheat and meat dish), and Luqaimat (sweet dumplings). Dubai is also known for its international culinary scene, offering a wide variety of global cuisines.

cooked dish on plates

6. Heritage and Arts:

Dubai values its heritage and strives to preserve and promote it. The city has several museums and heritage sites, such as the Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Historic District, and the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Traditional arts and crafts, such as pottery, carpet weaving, and calligraphy, are also celebrated.

al seef heritage hotel in dubai

7. Festivals and Celebrations:

Dubai hosts various cultural festivals and celebrations throughout the year. One of the prominent events is the Dubai Shopping Festival, which showcases Emirati traditions, entertainment, and shopping. Other celebrations include Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha (Islamic holidays), National Day (commemorating the UAE’s formation), and the Dubai International Film Festival.

photo of people gathered at kaaba mecca saudi arabia

8. Sports and Recreation:

Dubai has embraced sports and recreation as part of its culture. Camel racing, falconry, and dhow sailing are traditional activities. Additionally, modern sports like golf, tennis, cricket, and football (soccer) have gained popularity, and the city hosts international sporting events.

people watching soccer game

9. Contemporary Arts and Entertainment:

Dubai has developed a vibrant contemporary arts and entertainment scene. The city is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues. It hosts events like the Dubai International Film Festival, Dubai Opera, and Art Dubai, attracting artists and performers from around the world.

multicolored abstract painting

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