Insight Dubai – Part One

Modern Aspect of DubaiDubai, situated on the south of Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates is not just a modern city with lots of malls,skyscrapers, luxury hotels, beach resorts and  sand and sun to relax, but there are many unexplored about cultural aspects and art activities in Dubai.

More than 100 different  Nations live within the UAE, whereas 20 to 30 percent of almost 3 million of its population are Emirati Nationals, That is why where ever you go, you can find one of your compatriots.

Though it is cosmopolitan society with diversified cultures, the influence of Islam and ancient Arab culture can be understood in pulse of the city and most of the locals, Emirati residents, tend to be proud to represent their Arab Identity and global position while being in the heart of the Middle East. As a pole for doing business in the Middle East and Being exposed with western attitudes had brought great changes to the society but Emiraties have still kept their social values not to loose their cultural identity.

Bastakiya District

Between the houses, in lanesSmall Area Which seprates inside and outside the houseBastakiya, named after the Bastak region in southern Iran, is one amongst the three heritage listed-places in Dubai, not far from Al Ras and Al Shindagha where more renovated old houses and museums are located. Bastakiya area consists of several houses, with Dubai museum close to it in a pure traditional district of Dubai.


Hospitality, strong family ties and the loyalty to members of family seems important parts of Emirati culture.

Keeping family privacy which is an integrated part of Gulf culture is also considered in old architecture , while using small windows on the height of walls to the lanes and having courtyard, between main and second entrance of the houses, which separates inside and outside the house proves how important is keeping family privacy inside from outside the home.

This picture shows the courtyard with rooms around it

MajlisThe Majlis is the sitting room where people meet, eat, share ideas. Majlis is where guests are host, Qahwa and date are usual servings . Grandfather, or the greates member of the family is served first and then other guest from his right hand to left. Small cups are Qahwa are not filled to pour out and are served 3 times in the meeting. The respectful manner that Qahwa is served shows another aspect of Arabic culture. The ceremony surrounding the preparation, serving and drinking of Qahwa (Arabian coffee) derived from the traditions of Islamic and Bedouin hospitality. Unlike the comparatively stronger flavoured ‘western’ style coffees, the traditional Qahwa of the Emirates has a very mild coffee flavour, and a distinct cardamom taste with a touch of saffron. ( derived from ‘A Taste of the Emirates’ written and produced by Michelle Sabt)

Baarjil or Wind TowerInside Baarjil

Wind towers, called Baarjil in Arabic, are structures which were used to keep the house cools by circulating wind inside and outside.

September 22, 2011 · Maryam Khazaeli · Comments Closed
Posted in: Art and Culture, Social Life