Dance: Visitors may be lucky to see men lined up in a row, performing Ayyala, holding thin bamboo canes and moving in sync to a percussive rhythm. Other forms of dance include Razfa, which often involves reciting lines of poetry and handling other objects, such as daggers or rifles. Poetry: Forms of poetry in the UAE have been influenced from both near and far, with many notable
Local Culture & Heritage
People often forget about the cultural heritage of Dubai. From the world’s largest manmade island to the otherworldly Museum of the Future, Dubai is a glass-and-steel preview of the future. The city is regularly (and rightfully) celebrated for its superb planning and vision, as well as its cutting-edge modernity.
But as ambitious as the city might seem, Dubai isn’t just the city from the not-too-distant future. If you’re hungry for something authentic, head to the cultural heart of Dubai. Hop on a traditional boat for a leisurely cruise, haggle for silks and spices at a souk, and take a heritage desert safari.
So whether you’re a first-time visitor or an old hand looking for new experiences, you’ve come to the right place. Believe it or not, Dubai’s traditions aren’t just alive–they’re thriving. You just have to know where to look.
Discover the warm hospitality, a rich culinary heritage and proud traditions that make up Dubai’s a vibrant culture.
Local arts and handicrafts are still commonly practiced in Dubai and around the UAE. Many examples can be found among the boutique shops around the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhoods, with modern, artistic iterations often on show at various galleries within Alserkal Avenue. Calligraphy: The Arabic alphabet the second most widely used across the globe. This decorative way of writing is known as khatt, which derives from the
‘Hasan al-diyafa’ (what we know as ‘hospitality’) is an intrinsic part of Bedouin lifestyle that can be traced back to the traditions of life in the desert. Many also consider that religious beliefs and honoring one’s guests go hand in hand – and these customs are very much alive in Dubai today. We explain the basics. Marhaba: The Arabic word for welcome, used when entering someone’s home.
Do you know your karak from your chebab? Can you t ell your lugaimat from your labneh? While Dubai is renowned for incredible dining options, local Emirati cuisine stands apart. Make your way to some of the many Emirati restaurants and sample the delicious dishes on offer. Here are some to get you started. Camel: served in a variety of ways – often dished up with rice or made into burgers. Dates: delicious, sweet fruit
With around 200 nationalities represented in Dubai, how people dress is incredibly varied – yet the traditional attire of the UAE is bold and distinctive. You can see it all across the city. Emirati national dress is a symbol of pride and identity that has been designed with the dual intent of providing comfort and adhering to religious beliefs. In Dubai, men wear an ankle-length,