Take a glimpse at Emirati culture with our top eight
Time Out Dubai staff
1 If Islam remains a mystery to you, get down to Jumeirah Mosque, where guides are on hand to take you through aspects of the faith. No booking is required – just register at the mosque before the tour. Note that conservative dress is essential for both men and women. Jumeirah Beach Road, www.cultures.ae/jumeirah.htm. Tours take place every Sat, Sun, Tue and Thu at 10am, free.
2 Dubai Museum offers a time-lapse look at the city’s development from a tiny shipping port to a giant metropolis. Al Fahidi Fort, Bastakiya (04 353 1862). Open daily 9am-4.30pm, Dhs3.
3 If you’ve already seen the museum, check out Al-Ahmadiya School, which is laid out exactly as it would have been when it opened in 1920. Behind Dubai Public Libraries, Deira (04 226 0286). Open Sat-Thu 9am-4.30pm, Fri 9am-2.30pm, free.
4 Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House contains photos of Dubai from the ’40s and ’50s, as well as antique collections. Shindagha Heritage Village (04 393 7139). Open Sat-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-3pm, Dhs2.
5 Sit on comfy cushions in the shaded courtyard while your host, Salamah Al Muhajira, serves traditional Emirati breakfast at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre For Cultural Understanding. Over the next couple of hours you’re free to ask questions about Emirati life. Book in advance: it always fills up. Bastakiya (04 353 6666), www.cultures.ae. Breakfast is on Mon at 10am, Dhs50.
6 Alongside the creek in Deira, the dhow wharfage is testament to Dubai’s lively past. Near Clock Tower roundabout, Deira (04 393 7151). Sat-Thu 8am-10pm; Fri 8am-11am, 4pm-10pm, free.
7 Dubai Heritage and Diving Village features a permanent historical exhibition. Al Shindagha, Bur Dubai (04 393 7139). Open Sat-Thu 8am-10pm; Fri 8am-11am, 4pm-10pm, free.
8 Ancient structures dating back to the ninth century have been unearthed in the heart of Jumeirah over the past 40 years at the Jumeirah Archaeological Site. Near Safa Park, Jumeirah: turn right onto Al Wasl Road from Safa Park and take the first left after Al Atthar Street (04 349 6874). Open Sun-Thu 9am-2.30pm, free. For more cultural fun, ideas, news and trips, go to www.dubaiculture.ae and sign up for the weekly newsletter. The site also contains information about Dubai’s top cultural attractions.