The cultural tourism scene in Dubai combines tradition and modernity. Mapped throughout are heritage and historical destinations that leave firm impressions in the #DubaiDestinations, as well as world-class cultural and creative experiences, making the emirate attractive to a broad spectrum of visitors.
Once again, the 2nd season of the ‘Soul of Dubai – Cultural Experiences’ project launched by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) last year aims are to shed light on Dubai’s cultural essence, and highlight its authentic traditions, inspiring international creative talents here to share their cultural experiences widely. This second season shall continue the theme of motivating exploration of the many cultural treasures and unique attractions in the emirate.
Looking at some of these experiences, Emirati writer Hessa Abdullah Al Balooshi details some of her cultural experiences in the city, where she found inspiration in everything, saying: “I live in Dubai. This place possesses inexhaustible inspiration. For example, a place like Al Shindagha Museum and the different houses in it. If the walls are touched, you hear the pulse of Dubai flowing from the creek to everywhere. The sounds that resonate in this place, the smells and the colours are all specific to this city.”
The writer pointed out that she also draws her inspiration from the activities she practices with the family, for her: “Family is something special and close to the heart, and the activities with them contribute to my inspiration, such as the 3D museum the children and adults enjoy, and through which I find words, youthful feelings and entertainment in the paintings.”
Speaking about her visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid Library, Hessa praises Dubai's interest in childhood, and says: “The first place I visited in the Mohammed bin Rashid Library was the Children's Library, which includes educational and entertainment books, and entertaining areas that attract the young generation to enter the world of books and words. This library is a haven for Dubai readers, as it is a place that makes it easy for us to use modern technologies to obtain an endless collection of books, and provides copying services to benefit from the contents for research, including historical manuscripts and rare Arab and international publications.”
Her cultural journey also took her to the Juma Al Majid Center for Culture and Heritage, which she describes as one of the institutions that served science students and researchers, and opens its doors to everyone who is curious to see rare and original manuscripts preserved with craftsmanship, adding: “The Center’s owner spent many years researching and securing over 800,000 manuscripts from different countries, and met many prominent personalities, allowing the Center to become a global cultural beacon in the heart of Dubai bearing the works of distinguished writers and global universities.”
A new inspiration
Dubai-based Saudi artist and calligrapher Anood Kurdi highlighted what Dubai means to her and her travels between the metropolis, saying: "Dubai is a special and diverse city, which gives me different feelings. In Dubai, I always strive to visit places that inspire me and I feel an affinity for.”
She adds: “Kulture House is one of the spots I start my day with, enjoyably meditating on all that it is. The colours are inspiring and the way you experience life here isn’t common.”
Anood continues: "There is a beauty of Dubai in all its diverse facets. By visiting Al Shindagha Museum, I contemplated itshistory. Visiting the museum helped me connect with the past as I read the stories that each piece presented. Fatima’s collection got me thinking particularly with one tale where she lent her wedding jewellery to a large number of women in her community.”
Kurdi explains: “As a visual artist, being present in a creative and interactive environment is essential. On my visit to the Theatre of Digital Art (ToDA), I discovered a new dimension to the rich cultural scene of Dubai. Senses can be enriched and art can be experienced from a distinct perspective. ToDA presents digital arts interestingly and contemporarily with vivid, virtual reality. Dubai writes itself in a spectrum of colours. It is a unique and stimulating city!"