SMCCU 2011 YearEnd Report

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SMCCU 2011 Year End Activities Report featuring our programmes and their exceptional growth last year.

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  • Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) is a non-profit organisation established to increase awareness and understanding between the different cultures that live in Dubai.

    Established under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 1998, the Centre operates under the banner of Open Doors. Open Minds. and strives to remove the barriers between people of different nationalities raising awareness of the local culture, customs and religion of the United Arab Emirates.

    When people arrive in the UAE, many do not know what to expect nor do they have a real understanding of Emirati culture. In fact, there are many expatriates who have lived and worked in the UAE for years and are yet to meet an Emirati, says SMCCUs Director and Founder, Mr. Abdullah Bin Eisa Al Serkal.

    The programmes offered by SMCCU can help explain the customs, culture, religion and etiquette of the people of the UAE within the context of understanding Emirati life.

    Our sole aim is to welcome non-Emiratis into UAE culture and give them a chance to truly integrate within Emirati society enhancing the working and living experience of those visiting and residing in the UAE.

    Introduction to SMCCU

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  • Cultural Breakfasts

    SMCCU was overwhelmed with the success of its extremely popular event which hosts guests for Cultural Breakfasts in our traditional wind tower house in Bastakiya, Bur Dubai. In 2011, public breakfasts were held on Mondays and Wednesdays. In addition, private breakfasts were arranged on off days throughout the year. During the visit, guests engage with an Emirati host and are encouraged to ask questions about local customs and the heritage of the UAE. In keeping with the Centres motto Open Doors. Open Minds. , no topic of interest is off limits.

    In 2011, SMCCU hosted:

    1899 guests in public breakfasts

    671 guests in private breakfasts

    In total, 2570 guests participated in SMCCUs Cultural Breakfast Programme in 2011; an increase of 64% over 2010.

  • One of the largest private groups attending breakfast in 2011 was a group of ladies whose families are new to Dubai. They chose our programme as it came recommended as a must do when you arrive in Dubai. Additionally, we hosted various other groups for private Cultural Breakfasts including: Shell Outpost Ladies, Merck Sorono and Spouses of Ambassadors Club.

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  • SMCCU continued its extremely popular tradition of hosting guests for Cultural Lunches in our wind tower house in Bastakiya, Bur Dubai. As with the breakfast programme, public events were held twice a week on Sundays and Thursdays. Many Private events were also held throughout the year. During the programme, guests chat with an Emirati host and are encouraged to ask questions about the local customs and heritage of the UAE.

    In 2011, SMCCU hosted:

    1940 guests in public lunches

    950 guests in private lunches

    In total, 2890 guests participated in SMCCUs Cultural Lunch Programme in 2011; an increase of 76% increase over 2010.

    One of the largest groups we hosted for a private lunch was a group of students from Jumeirah College. Other notable groups that SMCCU hosted for private Cultural Lunches included: Leiden University, Emirates NBD, Braedenton Prep, Nalco Water Treatment, The US Navy, and DIFF attendees.

    Come for the Food. Stay for the Culture.

    Cultural Lunches

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  • SMCCU Bastakiya Heritage & Walking Tours top the list for people who want to learn more about the historic areas of Dubai. The Heritage Tour includes a walk around the Bastakiya District and a visit inside the Diwan Masjid. The tour is followed by a lively and engaging Question & Answer session inside our traditional wind tower house where Arabic coffee and dates are served.

    In 2011 SMCCU hosted:

    1923 guests on public guided walks

    1996 guests on private guided walks

    In total, 3889 guest participated in SMCCUs public and private Bastakiya Heritage & Walking Tours in 2011; an increase of 360% over 2010.

    Private groups included; University of West Virginia, DIFF, Panorama Services, JESS Arabian Ranches, Dubai Modern School, ITE Singapore, and Cambridge International School.

    Creekside Tour

    Bastakiya Walking Tours & Heritage Tours

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  • Ramadan Programme

    The Iftar Dinners are a seasonal event held in the holy month of Ramadan. During September 2011, SMCCU invited guests to join a traditional breaking-of-the-fast meal at our house in Bastakiya.

    This month long event strives to give visitors and expatriates a glimpse of the Islamic tradition of fasting and prayer. Following the meal, guests are guided on a casual after dark walk around the beautiful and historical Bastakiya neighbourhood.The evening closes with a visit to the Diwan Masjid in the Bastakiya which is frequented by local worshippers preparing for the evening prayers.

    In 2011 SMCCU hosted:

    605 guests in public Iftars

    650 guests in private Iftars

    In total, 1255 guests participated in SMCCUs Ramadan Iftar Programme in 2011; an increase of 21% over 2010.

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  • Ramadan Programme

  • Jumeirah Mosque Visits

    In an effort to de-mystify Islam and educate visitors on the role of religion in UAE society, SMCCU hosts guided visits of masjids in Dubai. Over the past twelve years, the Jumeirah Mosque has become a focal point for SMCCUs Open Doors. Open Minds. programme as well as our newest campaign The Freedom to Ask where visitors are free to inquire about the culture, traditions and religion of the people of the UAE without restraint.

    In 2011, SMCCU hosted:

    22,799 guests on public masjid tours

    4666 guests on private masjid tours

    In total, 27,465 guests participated in the Jumeriah Mosque programme in 2011; an increase of 3% over 2010.

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  • The Grand Mosque & Diwan Mosque Visits

    The popularity of the Jumeirah Mosque Visit was the catalyst for the opening of two new venues for both public and private visits in 2010. The Grand Mosque in Rashidiya primarily invites private visitors from schools and universities whilst the Diwan Mosque in Bastakiya welcomes visitors as part of the Centres Bastkiya Heritage & Walking Tours.

    In 2011 SMCCU hosted:

    1396 guests on private Grand Mosque visits in Rashidiya

    1141 guests on public Diwan Mosque visits in Bastakiya

    1675 guests on private Diwan Mosque visits in Bastakiya

    In total, 4212 guests participated in SMCCUs Grand Mosque & Diwan Mosque Visits in 2011; an increase of 387% over 2010.

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  • Schools & University Programme

    In 2010, SMCCU established its educational Schools & University Programme providing a customised programme of tours for students of all ages from both the UAE and visiting international institutions. We have continued these efforts in 2011 and have firmly established this campaign as part of SMCCUs various activities.

    The programme consists of Cultural Walks, Mosque Visits, Breakfasts and Lunches as well as in house Cultural Awareness presentations with a full range of activities to help children and older students integrate and understand the Emirati way of life.

    In 2011, SMCCU hosted:

    520 students in private breakfasts

    296 students in private lunches

    1429 students in Cultural Walks

    1978 students in Mosque Visits

    In total, 4223 students participated in SMCCUs Schools & University Programme in 2011; an increase of 311% over 2010.

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  • Cultural Awareness Presentations

    SMCCU hosts in house Cultural Awareness Presentations (CAPs) for corporate clients to introduce the customs, culture and heritage of the UAE within the context of running a successful business in the region.

    In 2011, SMCCU Cultural Awareness Presentations included presentations at the Women in Leadership Conference, Dubai Womens College NCBSP, FAWCO Conference, Jebel Ali Resorts Corporate Training Seminar and HSBC.

    In 2011, SMCCU hosted:

    1593 executives and senior managers in Cultural Awareness Presentations

    FAWCO Conference

    Jebel Ali Resorts Cultural Induction

    Jebel Ali Resorts Cultural Induction

    Dubai Women's College

    NCSBP Conference

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  • SMCCU launched a campaign in 2010 offering customised Cultural Partnership Programmes to all institutions wishing to enhance their current induction for new arrivals and current UAE based staff. These programmes contribute towards fulfilling corporate social responsibility objectives and provide staff with exceptional experiences and insight into the local customs and culture of the UAE. Each cultural programme is unique and focuses on the objectives outlined by individual corporations. Sessions are held in the Bastakiya as well as in house company venues. Participants can engage in activities from Cultural Meals, Heritage Tours, Mosque Visits and Arabic Classes.

    UAE based companies who choose to partner with SMCCU can be sure that their employees will directly benefit from cultural awareness training, which is proven to enhance the workplace environment and help companies attain success. Some notable groups that participated in this years programmes were Emirates NBD, Bristol Meyers, Estee Lauder, Emirates Airlines, Praxis, and Google Executives.

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    Corporate Guests

    Bristol Meyers

    Google Executives

    Praxis Gobal Research

  • As part of SMCCUs educational programmes, we provide expatriates and visitors with the opportunity to learn Spoken Gulf Arabic with one of our qualified instructors.The class sizes are small and are available on week days or weekends. Our students learn traditional Khaliji Arabic, the dialect spoken in the GCC states in the Arabian Gulf.

    In addition we have expanded our Arabic programme, offering both Classical Arabic classes and private classes for institutions wishing to train their staff in Arabic language skills both in and outside of the workplace.

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    Spoken Gulf Arabic Courses

    Google Executives

  • Special Events

    In 2011, SMCCU hosted a number of high profile special events to mark significant occasions providing traditional Emirati food and educational seminars on Emirati and Islamic history.

    Highlights of SMCCU special events in 2011 include our participation in the Ramadan Tents at Dubai Festival City, Min Beladi at Dubai Mall, the Faces of the Middle East exhibition and hosting renowned author, Karen Armstrong as a guest speaker at the Multaqa venue in Mamzar.

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  • National Day

    In 2011, in honour of the 40th Anniversary of the UAEs unification, SMCCU hosted a full day of events in the Bastakiya open to the general public where guests attended Cultural Breakfasts and Lunches as well as Bastakiya Heritage Tours that took place throughout the day.

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  • Celebrity Guests

    In 2011, SMCCU had the honour of hosting several celebrity guests across our various programmes. Martha Stewart took part in a Creekside Tour and Real Madrid footballer KaKa and his brother Digao joined us for a late afternoon Bastakiya Heritage Tour.

    Thai Ambassador

    Afghani Government Delegates

    KAKA and DTCM

    KAKA and Digao and Family

  • Martha Stewart

    US Congress Q & A

  • Future Projects

    SMCCU Volunteers

    Emirati volunteers are encouraged to join SMCCU on a part time, full time or free lance basis providing them with a memorable experience and deeper understanding of the inner workings of the modern, multi cultural UAE.

  • Future Projects

    Culture Awareness Academy

    The SMCCU Majlis Building has been completed and we are in the process of designing the interior of the venue. The space is planned to house a caf and interactive museum about the culture, traditions, history and religion of the Emirates. We are always keen to develop partnerships with institutions who embrace the concept of cultural understanding and welcome contributors to the project.

    SMCCU in association with several leading UAE academic institutions provides an internship programme to inspire young Emirati students wishing to learn about their history and interact with other cultures within the evergrowing, dynamic social and business environment of the UAE.

  • Companies List

    24 Degrees

    ABC Tours

    Accor Hotels

    Air Berlin

    Al Qasr Hotel

    Al Shamel Travel & Tourism

    Al Tamimi

    Alpha Tours

    ARA Art Gallery

    Arabian Adventures

    Arabian Incentive

    Arabian Trails

    Armani Hotels

    Beyond Relocation

    Big Bus Tours

    Bloomberg

    Blue Oasis Veterinary Clinic

    BNI Networking group

    Bonnard and Lawson

    Bonnard and Lawson

    Bristol Myers

    British Business Group

    British Embassy Dubai

    Burj Al Arab

    Center for Management & Professional Development

    Church of the Latter Day Saints

    Clyde & Co

    Colpitts Travel, Edinburgh

    Cosmos

    Crown Worldwide

    Custard Communications

    Damas Latinas Ladies Group

    DHL

    DTCM Australia & New Zealand

    DTCM Canada

    DTCM China

    DTCM Hong Kong

    DTCM Japan

    DTCM London

    DTCM South Africa

    DTCM Trainee Tour guides

    DTCM UK

    Dubai Chamber of Commerce

    Dubai Convention Bureau

    Dubai Financial Services Authority

    Dubai International Film Festival

    Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing

    Dubai World Cup Guests

    DUBIB

    Dusit Thani

    ECL

    Emirates Airline

    Emirates Home Nursing

    Emirates Oasis Tourism

    EmiratesNBD

    Estee Lauder

    Eton Institute

    Explorer Publishing

    Face Card

    Falcon and Associates

    Federation of American Womens Clubs Overseas

    Flight Centre

    Flydubai

    French Ladies Association

    Frontier

    Glamour Magazine

  • Gmasco Al Futtaim

    Gulf News

    Gulf Ventures

    Halliburton

    Hexagon

    HSBC

    Huawei

    IBM

    International Expat Community

    InterSystems

    Intouch Relocation

    IPR GDF SUEZ Middle East, Turkey & Africa

    Italian Embassy

    ITE College Singapore

    Jebel Ali International Hotels & Resorts

    Johnson Controls

    Knight Tours

    KNPC Kuwait

    Kuoni UK

    Lufthansa

    MAF Hotel Group

    Marriott Hotels

    Meetin...