Culture in Dubai and the UAE
Sport tours are not just about what players can learn on the pitch. If you have visited Dubai and the UAE recently as a tourist, or simply consider it a business and tourist destination, you may well question what the off-pitch experiences are that make it a worthwhile sports tour destination.
As the many hundreds of school teachers and pupils that have toured with us have found, it provides a breadth of cultural opportunities that give an insight into Islamic life in a safe and friendly environment, as well as ecological, geographical, historical, and architectural options; it even provided the inspiration for Mia’s GCSE Art Coursework after her visit with St Edward’s Cheltenham! Our favourite activities also average 4.5 and 5 star ratings on TripAdvisor!
Below are a selection of the activities which we offer our sport tour groups; activities such as these tie into school curriculums. When you combine these with the benefits of touring the UAE as a whole, such as alcohol not being available to U21s and the perfect weather, it makes Dubai and the UAE the perfect location for school sport tours.
- Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) – Based in a traditional wind tower, the team at the SMCCU offer cultural tours and meals to our groups. The meals are extremely popular, as they serve local food in a traditional manner. Friendly and humourous local Emiratis chat to the groups to encourage them to ask questions about their dress, religion, and way of life in general. TripAdvisor rates this as a 4.5* attraction.
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – This is one of the world’s largest mosques, and is open to the public all year round with the exception of prayer times. We can book our groups guided educational tours of the mosque to give our tourists exposure to Muslim culture. TripAdvisor rates the mosque as a 5* attraction, and the mosque is also the holder of a number of world records, such as the world’s largest chandelier and woven carpet!
- The Souks – The historical markets of Dubai. Historically, boats or dhows from the neighbouring countries as well as India, Sri Lanka, China and the Far East, visited the souks with their merchandise. Dubai souks are bright, colourful, noisy and fascinating like any other market place. The gold and spice souks are worth visiting to browse, and the karma souks are a place to pick up small gifts for friends and family back home.
- Ecological and Geographical camps – from half-day trips to four-day/three-night camping adventures, we can offer experiences to fit your itinerary and budget. Split your time between field trips to the desert, mangroves, rocky shore, and wadi, carrying out experiments in each location. We recommend making this experience at least an overnight one, if not two nights, as it gives the students time to conduct experiments in different ecosystems, and compare their results between them.
- Masdar City – A ‘futuristic city’ currently in development that will be powered entirely on renewable energy. The absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar’s perimeter wall, designed to keep out the hot desert winds, will allow for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the city. Tours of this site are available to groups.