Dubai – No question was off limits for curious tourists and foreign residents of Dubai wanting to learn more about Emirati culture and the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Emiratis make up less than 10% of those living in Dubai, the most populated emirate in the seven-emirate United Arab Emirates federation, making it hard for foreigners to meet them.
Dubai goes to great lengths to make itself as open to different cultures and faiths as the Middle East’s financial, trade and leisures center, and a government cultural center is inviting visitors to fend out more about Emirati life.
“There are no offending question” said Emirati Rashid Al-Tami from the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
Emirati volunteers gathered at a majlis – the traditional sitting room where the end-of-fast iftar meal is served at floor-level-were asked about dating and marriage, what they think of Dubai’s comparatively liberal dress code for foreigners, and aspects of the Muslim faith.
“We learn from them, they learn from us”. (Foreigners) have been here a long time and I feel they see as Emiratis, and we are proud that they do so”, said Majida Al-Gharib a student volunteer.
Visitors broke the day’s fast with dates and water, before sampling Emirati cuisine, including biryani and mackboos rice and meat dishes.
2019 has been designated the Year of Tolerance in the United Arab Emirates and there is a minister of state for tolerance. lsdlock