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Location: Dubai & Abu Dhabi

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The culture within the Emirates

Dubai is a uniquely modern and cosmopolitan city and the United Arab Emirates is home for families from all over the world, each with their own distinctive culture. Dubai's culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. Courtesy and hospitality are among the most highly prized of virtues. Dubai's society is marked by a high degree of tolerance and friendliness. However, respect should be shown by not wearing revealing clothes. Modern Dubai remains close to its heritage tracing its orignn to 18:30, when a small fishing village on the Shindagha Peninsula was inhabited by a branch of Baniyas tribe.

Expatriates and UAE nationals are neighbours; however they can also be strangers. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, saw the need to reach out and educate expatriates in the traditions and customs of the UAE. His vision led to the creation of The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) in 1998.

Located in a traditional Wind Tower House in the heart of the historic Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai, the centre offers a range of enrichment activities through its award winning programmes. Operating under the centre's philosophy and motto “Open Doors. Open Minds.” the SMCCU strives to raise awareness and demystify the local culture, customs and religion of the United Arab Emirates. With an overall objective to improve cross-cultural understanding and communication between locals and guests, visiting and residing across the UAE, we invite you to learn more about the local culture in Dubai through our Award Winning Programmes.

The centre is open to the public:
Sunday through Thursday 8am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
Our office staff is available to welcome you:
Sunday through Thursday 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 9am to 1pm.