All Points East tour, Arabian Adventures
Life in Dubai without a car is something of a challenge, but life in most of the rest of the UAE without one is, well, impossible. So, if you have made your mind up not to drive while you’re here, but still want to take a look round this fascinating country, your best option might well be a bus tour. With this in mind Time Out decided to board the Arabian Adventures All Points East tour. It promises an insight into life in several of the UAE’s ‘other’ emirates, including Sharjah, Fujairah and even a brief trip into Oman. Proceeding out of town our friendly guide educates us on each of our destinations – first Sharjah, where we learn that there is a population of 800,000 people, and then the Friday market at Masafi, where we stop to sample the local goods – perhaps not surprisingly a mix of fruit, vegetables and carpets.
Next we climb through mountains and wadis to stop at a canyon, where we take a picture or two. Below we can see where a village once stood until it was swept away by the flash floods that occasionally course through the area. We then make our way to the fish market in Dibba, and peruse the wares before heading for lunch in Fujairah. Now heading south, we stop at the ancient Bidiya mosque. This curious, mud-caked building is reputedly the oldest mosque in the country. There we have time to scrabble to the top of the nearby look-out point, before heading first to the 300-year-old fort and then the Bitnah oasis, our last, brief stop before we drive back to Dubai. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (you spend a lot of your time on a bus) the tour’s a great way to see a good deal of the UAE without the benefit of a car and with the help of a friendly guide.
Dhs195 until August 31. Lunch not included. Call 04 303 4888. For information visit www.arabian-adventures.com.
Intensive at Eton
Do something productive over the sweaty season and sign up to the Eton Institute’s ‘super intensive summer courses’. The limited time means you’ll be cramming away like a mad thing as your tutors aim to have you speaking the local lingo within a matter of weeks. All instructors are native speakers and, according to Eton, are passionate about teaching not just the language but also the culture and tradition that goes with it. So you’ll be expanding your mind as well as your vocabulary.
Group classes are five days a week from Sunday to Thursday, comprising four hours a day. There are six levels, with each level taking 60 hours (so three weeks) to complete. You could just do one or two levels, or spend the whole summer doing all six so that, come October, you’ll be chatting fluently with all your new-found Arab pals. And feeling rather smug too, we’d wager.
Learners can choose from morning (9am-1pm), afternoon (1.30pm-5.30pm) or evening (6pm-10pm) lessons. Dhs2,250 for each level. Call 800 3866 for course dates or register online at www.eton.ac. Eton Institute, Dubai Knowledge Village, Block 3.
Arabian Center Radio Star
Contestants from Channel 4 radio’s Arabic, English and Hindi stations’ recent singing competition will compete in the semi-finals and grand finale at the Arabian Center mall in Mirdif this week. Winners will walk away with Dhs150,000 of prizes and have the chance to record a hit single. Go see a star in the making.
June 25, 26 and 27 at the Arabian Center, Al Khawaneej Road. 04 284 5555, www.arabiancenter.ae.
Meet the curator
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation gives visitors a chance to learn more about what is displayed in the museum with the help of museum-based and invited experts. This is a free adult learning programme.
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, June 27, 5pm. Visit www.sharjahmuseums.ae.
Art gallery thejamjar is holding Lomography workshops throughout July. It might sound like the kind of activity requiring a surgical mask and a scalpel, but it’s actually about photography using cult analogue (as opposed to digital) technology. For everyone from beginners to advanced.