Life revolves around religion in Dubai, and to ensure you see more of the state than its hotels, restaurants and shopping centres, learning about Islam and the way of life for Emiratis is a must. There’s only one mosque in Dubai that’s open to the public and non-Muslims, so make sure you book a tour around the Grand Jumeirah Mosque. The mosque is open six days a week (not Fridays), and you’ll have the chance to ask questions, and see a demonstration of ablutions and prayer.
For a fantastic introduction into Islam and the Emiratis’ way of life, visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. If you’re looking for a cultural quick fix, this will be ideal for you. You’ll be able to go on walking tours of Bastakiya, have Arabic classes, enjoy an Emirati feast, learn about local traditions and ways of life, as well as having the chance to go on a guided tour of Jumeirah Mosque. Dubai city tours are a great way to see mosques around the state, but only at Jumeirah will you be allowed to go inside.
The SMCCU has an ‘open doors, open minds’ motto, so no matter what your question is, you’ll be able to have it answered. Join local Emiratis for a traditional Arabian breakfast or lunch, and learn everything you need to know about Islam.
Visit Dubai, and see its breath-taking architecture, relax on other-worldly beaches, and shop in never-ending malls, but don’t forget to learn about its culture and religion: the axis on which it rotates.