International Study Tour - Part 3

Dubai – Meltingpot of Arabian culture and traditions

An essential part in understanding international Tourism is culture and taditions. The United Arab Emirates and especially Dubai are rooted in the Arabian culture, a further aim of the International Study Program 2021 was to enhance and foster the intercultural understanding and competencies of the students.

To further explore the culture and traditions of the UAE and Dubai they emerged into the world of Arabian and Islamic culture with our lecturer and guide Abdelmoutalib El Messaoudi. Through his lecture “Understanding Arabic & Islamic culture, hospitality and traditions” students were able to gain valuable insigths . Together with Abdel, districts in “old” Dubai, such as Bastakia and Bur Dubai were visited, the traditional architecture was explored and the students got to know Arabian hospitality with tasting real Arabian coffee and dates. After a short ride with the Abra, a traditional wooden boat over the Dubai Creek, they emerged into to the fascinating and colorful world of the souks.

To further comprehend the diversity of the United Arab Emirates the master students visited the emirate Fujairah with Abdel. Fujairah in contrast to Dubai or Abu Dhabi is less known in the western world, but worth a visit, as it is the only one of the seven emirates directly located at the Oman sea. Moreover, Fujairah has a very impressive landscape with high mountains and wide deserts. On our guided tour with Abdel, they visited the Fujairah fort, the second biggest mosque as well as the oldest mosque in the UAE. A key learning for the students in Fujairah was that the different emirates are in different stages of tourism destination development and have many different touristic facets.

When in Dubai, a visit of the desert is quite obligatory, as it enhances the understanding of the culture and life in the UAE and is part of the touristic product portfolio in Dubai. Thus, MCI students visited the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and explored the desert dunes and the desert wildlife. Besides oryx and camels, they also had the chance to spot some gazelles in the wild. This experience was topped with a falcon show, falconry in the UAE has a very long tradition and is part of the Emirati culture. In the Bedouin camp students had the possibility to try authentical Arabian food, such as camel meat and milk and experienced Arabian cultural entertainment. The desert tour and the Bedouin camp once again showed the peculiarities of Arabian hospitality and traditions, thus, making it an essential learning experience for the students.