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Dubai- Attractions and Customs

Updated on December 27, 2016
Majestic Dubai
Majestic Dubai
Palm Islands
Palm Islands
Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall

It was just a matter of time before Dubai, a burgeoning global design hub, got its own design-perfect barbershop. Filling a gap between “street level barbershops and the upmarket spa salons found in hotels or malls” as co-founder and entrepreneur Leith Matthews explains, AKIN Barber & Shop located at Burj Al Salam (a glass tower opposite the World Trade Centre) in the heart of the city caters for a “growing urban community”.

Few places divide opinions as much as Dubai, the most cosmopolitan city-emirate of the United Arab Emirates. Ignore Dubai’s detractors who claim it’s new, artificial, and has no soul. Dubai has a long history with archaeological sites dating to the Bronze Age; a rich culture and society based on Bedouin traditions, Arab hospitality, and a tolerant form of Islam; and as many gritty backstreets and low-rise neighborhoods as glitzy shopping arcades and gleaming skyscrapers.

Boasting everything from ultra-modern mega-malls to traditional Arabic souks, this is a city bursting with designer goodies, Middle Eastern handicrafts and even a few bargains - if you know where to look.

In the 1820s, Dubai was referred to as Al Wasl by British historians. Few records pertaining to the cultural history of the UAE or its constituent emirates exist and because of the region's oral traditions, folklore and myth were not written down.

During your visit to Dubai, you will be given the opportunity to experience a perfect mix of a cosmopolitan city and the local culture’s traditional aspects.

For travelers to Dubai who are interested in exploring traditional Arabian culture in greater depth, be sure to arrange a side trip to the neighboring country of Oman. A fascinating contrast to modern Dubai, Oman is a land of rugged mountains, lush palm oases and age-old customs.

Dubai does have a rich culture rooted in Bedouin heritage and traditions of storytelling, poetry, song, dance, and falconry.


It’s traditional to greet guests with coffee (qahwa) and dates, and it’s rude to decline!

Falconry is a traditional part of Bedouin culture.

Since Dubai is a desert, a wind tower, called barjeel, is in every house of Al Bastakiya. More the number of barjeels in a house, the wealthier the owner. Keeping the orthodox cultural tradition in mind... the main doors of the houses are large but the inner door is short. Because as an man enters the house they should bend down not facing women directly.

Dubai’s old body art tradition is still popular in modern times The region we now know as Dubai has a vivid history of beauty traditions and rituals, from early forms of cosmetics to aromatic perfumes and essential oils. Perhaps the most well-known beauty ritual is the intricate body art created with henna dye, which plays an important role in the lives of many Emirati women.

Embark on a safari tour in the desert just outside of Dubai.

Emirate life is very much geared around families, with marriage and children being the bedrock of society. Hospitality plays a key role in Dubai culture, especially to strangers or newcomers, although older and more traditional Dubai citizens may be more reserved. Do not be surprised if you are invited to join an Emirate family for refreshment, and when carpet or jewellery shopping in particular, your tea will arrive almost before you do.


Dubai Gold Souk or Gold Souk (Arabic: سوق الذهب‎), is a traditional market (or souk) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The souk is located in the heart of Dubai's commercial business district in Deira, in the locality of Al Dhagaya, consisting of more than 300 retailers selling almost exclusively jewelry. It is estimated that around 10 tons of gold is present at any given time in this market: can you even write all the zeroes of its value.

The winding, crowded and colourful Souks of Old Dubai contain many traditional treasures still traded in this Arabian crossroads.

Many people come to Mutrah Corniche (Oman) just to visit the souk, which retains the chaotic interest of a traditional Arab market albeit housed under modern timber roofing.

Explore colourful goods and souvenirs in a traditional setting at Dubai's Old Souk.

Dubai's historical Spice Souk boasts an array of prized spices and exotic fragrances like saffron, frankincense, and myrrh.

Arabian Perfume Shop ~ UAE ; The strong and spicy fragrances of Arabic perfumes come from a combination of incense and oils but without the alcohol base that is normally used in Western perfumes.These strong oily perfumes are usually burned and the smell from the smoke that emanates linger around the house, on the clothes and on the skin for many hours.


Dubai Metro Stations (UAE) The elevated and at-grade Dubai Metro stations combine both heritage and modern designs. They have been modelled on the shape of seashell, inspired from the diving and pearl-fishing heritage of the UAE, while the interior design depicts the four elements of nature – water, air, earth and fire.

Walk the streets of the tranquil, Bastakia market area. A journey down the old lanes of Dubai, soaking in the unique & traditional culture.


Al Haramain - Fakhrul Arab - the Pride of the Arabs - an enhanting Arabic Fragrance shipped from the Middle East Made by the traditional Arabic Perfume House of Al Haramain of Dubai - this is an exquisite and perfect example of Arabic Perfumery at its finest.

Classic Cream-Filled Konafa {A Middle-Eastern delicacy, made from crunchy shredded phyllo pastry, sandwiching a creamy, pudding-like filling, and soaked with vanilla scented simple syrup}.

Kunafe Nablusia, the sticky pastry made of gooey sweet cheese sandwiched between layers of shredded kunafe pastry.

Mandi is a traditional Khaleeji dish consisting of rice and meat (camel, lamb or chicken). On the Dubai food tour, you get to try traditional Emirati dishes such as this!


Hotel Dar Al Masyaf, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Madinat Jumeirah, is a luxurious 5 star resort in Dubai and is the largest resort in the emirate, spreading across over 40 hectares of landscapes and gardens. It is designed to resemble a traditional Arabian town.

Luxury Holidays At Al Qasr At Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Al Qasr translates as ‘The Palace’ in Arabic and when you arrive at this stunning 5 star Dubai hotel in the Madinat Jumeirah you will soon see why. With its tree-lined avenue leading up to the entrance, its majestic traditional architectural style and its overall patina of splendour, Al Qasr is guaranteed to take your breath away.


The camel desert safari offers an exciting camel ride to travel through the dunes of Dubai desert, exactly how the traditional Arabs used to.

Certainly one of Dubai’s largest and most beautiful places of worship is the spectacular stone Jumeirah mosque. Built in the medieval Fatimid tradition, its gorgeous dome is one of the city’s best loved landmarks. Open Sunday to Thursday mornings between 10am and 11.30am. (Please remember the dress code is long sleeves and covered legs for everyone and headscarves for women, children must be over five years old to enter).

Dubai is very Famous for Dhow Cruise Tours. Guests can enjoy an international buffet with dance and magic shows, while cruising along the Dubai Creek aboard a traditional Arabian dhow.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai

Rested on an exclusive beachfront island situated in the heart of new Dubai Marina alongside the beautiful Arabian Gulf, Ritz Carlton provides the perfect setting to immerse you in Dubais rich history and tradition, along with some of the worlds most superb dining, shopping and nightlife.

Chef Trevor at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre shares his version of a traditional Belgian classic, "asparagus a la flamande." The classic grated egg is replaced with a poached egg that has been breaded and fried. Instead of the classic melted butter with lemon juice, Trevor serves a lemon butter espuma, topped with smoked croutons.

Dubai Heritage and Diving Villages are built to acquaint tourists with the region’s traditional arts, customs.

Old Dubai Market (Deira); Not all of Dubai has sprouted up in the last 40 years. If you want to see what life was like before the skyscrapers and luxurious hotels, head down to the old markets (souks). If you want your own traditional jewelry or headscarf, this is the place to get it. The array of textiles and spices seems endless. Remember, if you want to buy anything negotiating a price is almost expected.

Though Dubai is now one of the world's fastest growing cities and home to the world's tallest building, it's still surrounded by desert.

Influenced by North-Eastern Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, Waldorf Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s LAO restaurant fuses modern and traditional techniques.

Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa; Dubai is a remarkable resort the first of its kind in the Middle East, inspired by traditional Thai architecture in an Arabian setting.

The Palace Downtown Dubai ASADO Steakhouse is a lively Argentinean Grill that serves premium meat prepared in the traditional Asado Criollo-style. A large choice on the menus with a wide selection of Argentinean beverages is combined with live music to complete the experience. Open from 7 pm to 11.30 pm.

The Burj al Arab, Dubai: The Arabian Tower is the only hotel to have ever been awarded seven stars. It is shaped like the sail of a traditional dhow and oozes luxury.

To anchor Nobu at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai in its location, Rockwell Group surrounded the restaurant walls and ceilings with large hand-woven curvilinear abaca panels to evoke an environment submerged under an ocean wave, and added accents of traditional Middle Eastern vernacular architecture such as hand-wrought iron columns of flowers, leaves and buds.

Dubai Museum - Dhow Dhow is the general name for a number of traditional sailing vessels. Some historians report that the dhow was invented by either Arabs or Indians, while some attribute this discovery to the Chinese.

The Dubai Coffee Museum is not merely a hodgepodge of antiques behind glass. This coffee collection is displayed in a series of rooms, each with their own distinct furnishings and equipment sets, giving guests a chance to immerse themselves in the traditional methods from Ethiopia, Turkey, Egypt, Yemen and other parts of the coffee-drinking world. Coffee is not merely discussed as a cultural rite; it is brewed and sipped in context.

Deira is located on the northern bank of Dubai Creek and the winding streets here unveil the melting pot of different nationalities that have come to call Dubai home.

Also, stock up on baby onesies at the many baby boutiques in Dubai Mall. While you’re there, visit the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Later set sail on a traditional ‘abra’. Take one to watch the Dubai Fountain show or take one at Madinat Jumeirah to visit the Souk and restaurants in the resort. Such as the most romantic restaurant in Dubai, Pierchic, an over-the-water experience, not to be missed while on your romantic Dubai babymoon break.

Tourists and residents cross the Dubai Creek which cuts through the heart of the city, on a traditional abra, or taxi boat. The 14 kilometer (9 mile) Dubai Creek is a natural seawater inlet of the Persian Gulf located in the heart of city.

Get out of the city and explore the desert, which spans from the edge of the city to Abu Dhabi Emirate. Activities can include driving through the sand dunes in 4x4s, camel riding, or watching the sun set over the desert whilst enjoying traditional belly dancing, barbequing and shisha.

Go for an adrenaline pumping adventure while in Dubai.Have a thrilling time dune bashing and later spend an evening under the Arabian stars listening to live folk music and watching a traditional belly dance performance accompanied with a scrumptious Arabic dinne

Local food



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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Wow, I’m pretty shocked by your daily budget. Staying at Icon Apart Hotel was really expensive. I was hoping to experience some cheap food but it isn’t that cheap at all. Looks like Dubai needs to wait till I save more money .

    • Dubaibudget Tours profile image


      2 years ago from Dubai

      What a nice tour! i also enjoyed Dubai Tour with my local tour operator. Really its was amazing and memorable of my whole life tour.


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