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Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
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Authentic Emirati Cultural Meal and Talk in Old Dubai
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Cultural Tour of the Al Fahidi Al Bastakiya District in Authentic Old Dubai
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Panoramic Tour of Iconic Attractions of Modern Dubai
Ranked #24 of 418 things to do in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) invites visitors and residents alike to learn about the local culture, customs and religion through its various interactive programmes under the banner and motto of the centre, "Open doors. Open minds.". The SMCCU offers Cultural Breakfast Monday & Wednesday at 10am, Cultural Lunch Sunday through Thursday at 1pm, Dinner every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night at 7pm and Saturday Brunch at 10:30am. We also offer Tours of the historic district every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday at 10:30am and Saturday at 9am which includes a visit inside the Mosque near the Ruler's Court. We also offer educational courses and programmes for students and adults, and arrange private group tours and cultural events for your groups and institutions. Pre-booking and reservations can be made on our website or by contacting our office directly.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed April 27, 2013

Really interesting once I was able to find out where I was going. I took the Big Bus and it just dropped me off - it took a bit of hunting from there to find what I was looking for. The photographs were the most interesting.

Thank Scalliwag25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 23, 2013

Dubai is so glitz and glamour all the time, that visitors very often forget that is does have its own history and traditions prior to the boom and current modern metropolis status!

If you plan to do ONE thing different during your time in Dubai, this is the right place for you.

Centre for Cultural Understanding is government funded organisation, a kind of tourism organisation that promotes Emirati culture and traditions to visitors. They have different kinds of activities: you can choose among a traditional breakfast or lunch, a guided walking tour around Bastakiya (only area of Dubai more that 100 years old) or a guided visit to Jumeirah mosque, to name a few.

On all tours/events/visits/lunch/breakfasts, they have professional and informative Emirati (English-speaking) guides who patiently explain and show traditional side of Emirati culture that you will not have a chance to see anywhere else unless an Emirati invites you to their home.

And all is very reasonably priced: from a 3 euros (5 US dollars) guided visit to mosque and 7 euros (10 US$) 60 min guided walk around Bastakiya to 12 euros (18 US$) cultural breakfast (traditional food and 60 min chat)- they are all steals!

In short - DO go on one of these tours (breakfast is my favourite, however they are all nice -I tried them all as I always take my visitors there), you will have fun and learn more about Dubai culture in an hour that you will in rest of your stay in Dubai!

PS. Reservations are a must, so make sure you call them in advance - they are not so responsive over email. :(

2  Thank Prekovici
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

This was my favorite day. We learned so much from Nassif our host for the morning. I felt like we had made a new friend. I could have stayed all day! The lunch was delicious too. Definitely this is a must for every Dubai visitor. Open your mind!!

Thank mjmmtucson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

In a city that lacks 'authenticity' this is the one thing that you can do to find it.
I did the cultural brunch. The meal itself was enjoyable but the best bit was the no holes barred discussion on Dubai life, culture and religion. I gained a lot of knowledge and now view the place differently. Worth doing

Thank chasingpw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2013

We did a dinner and tour organised by SMCCU during Ramadan and what an experience it was! It is done by locals, who tell you a lot of interesting things about their culture, religion, and you can ask them any question you like and they will try to answer it! They are fun, friendly, and entertaining. Many know that locals don't tend to mix wit the expats so this is a great opportunity to meet them and speak to them. The dinner was delicious, too. It was one of the best experiences i've had in Dubai and would recommend to anyone living here or just visiting.

Thank DubaiDingDong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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