I have long loved the Center for Cultural Understanding in the “old” district of Al Fahidi. Run by Emiratis, its aim is to introduce those interested to the Emirati culture, beliefs, and way of life. Since here locals are only about fifteen percent of the population, it is difficult to get to know locals personally, so I find the Center a great way to introduce visitors to a way of life we Americans often know little about.
I’ve been through many programs here. Some of them are meals – the cultural breakfast, lunch, or Iftar (during Ramadan). The other day for the first time I took the Creekside Tour, in which the tour guide leads a walkaround of the Creekside area and includes a visit to a traditional Bedouin tent (made of goat hair) and to the Mosque, where he answers questions about Islam. Our tour guide was Ahmed Al Jafflah, a very friendly and informative guide with an obvious passion for his work.
All in all a great way to learn more about this part of the world and one I highly recommend to all expats who live here and all who come to visit.
You can book in advance over the phone or via their website: https://cultures.ae/