OPEN DOORSOPEN MINDS
Annual Report 2013
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding
OPEN DOORSOPEN MINDS
- SMCCU -
Introdcution to SMCCU 4
Cultural Breakfasts 6
Cultural Lunches 8
Cultural Dinner & Brunch 10
Heritage Tours & Walking Tours 12
Creekside Tour 14
Ramadan Iftar 16
Jumeirah Masjid Visit 18
Grand & Diwan Masjid Visits 20
Schools & Universities Educational Programmes 22
Cutural Awareness Presentations 24
National Day 26
Spoken Gulf Arabic Courses 28
Special Guests 30
Future Projects 34
SMCCU Volunteers 37
Companies List 40
Schools & Universities List 43
Activity Headcount 46
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The Jumeirah Mosque has received more than a half a million guests since the programmes inception in 1996.
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PEACE BE UPON YOU
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The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) is a non-profit organization established to increase awareness and understanding between the 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. whilst striving to remove the barriers between people of different nationalities and raise awareness of the local culture, customs and religion of the United Arab Emirates.
As Dubai has been chosen as a host city for the World Expo in 2020, it is critical that we strive to continue to create a modern city that represents the true essence of the Emirati people and Arab and Muslim world at large. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum expressed in the collection Flashes of Thought while commenting about the catalyst behind the drive to build the Burj Khalifa. The tower symbolises the new global changes taking place: a new world where East meets West, where civilisations come together and where human creativity reigns with no heed to geographic, ethnic or religious boundaries. It is in the spirit of this creative environment encouraged by His Highness that the Centre was born and continues to be a one of a kind cultural experience. Prefaced on sharing our culture and heritage, the Centre through its Open doors. Open minds. Programme, promotes a peaceful co-existence, true tolerance, acceptance and understanding of one another. says SMCCUs Managing Director Mr. Nasif Kayed.
The programmes offered by SMCCU can help explain the customs, culture, religion and etiquette within the context of Emirati culture. Our sole aim is to welcome non-Emiratis into UAE culture and give them a chance to truly integrate within Emirati society. It is the goal of SMCCU to be the initial step for all people entering the UAE, and the SMCCU will undoubtedly enhance ones working and living experience here.
TOSMCCUMy personal gratitude and thanks go to the visionaries behind our 15 years of success HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for his patronage and support and our founder and Director Abdulla bin Issa Al Serkal.
COME FOR THE
STAY FOR THE CULTURE
- SMCCU -
SMCCU continues to welcome guests to its popular cultural meals. Our Cultural Breakfast is hosted in a traditional wind tower house in the Al Fahidi Historic District of Bur Dubai. In 2013, public breakfasts were held twice weekly. In addition many companies and institutions joined us for private bespoke breakfast programmes. During the visit, guests engage with an Emirati host and are welcomed to ask questions about the local customs and the rich Emirati heritage. In keeping with the centres motto Open Doors, Open Minds. guests are encouraged to ask questions whilst no topic of interest is off limits.
guests in public breakfasts in private breakfasts2499
In total, 5049 guests participated in SMCCUs Cultural Breakfast programmes during this period, an increase of 11% over 2012.
2550In 2013, SMCCU hosted:
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The largest groups SMCCU hosted at its
Private Cultural Breakfasts in 2013 were guest from LOreal
Germany. Additionally, we hosted various other groups
for Private Cultural Breakfasts including: The Japanese
Womens Association, Schlumberger, Standard Chartered Bank and the Hungarian Chamber of
3102 9405 %11 2102.
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SMCCU also continued its popular tradition of hosting guests for Cultural Lunches, in our traditional wind tower house in the Al Fahidi District of Bur Dubai. As with the breakfast programme, public lunches were held twice a week. In addition private lunch events were held for a variety of institutions and corporations. During the visit, guests engage with an Emirati host and are welcomed to ask questions about the local customs and the rich Emirati heritage. In keeping with the centres motto Open Doors, Open Minds. guests are encouraged to ask questions whilst no topic of interest is off limits.
guests in public lunches guests in private lunches3281
In total, 7205 guests participated in SMCCUs Cultural Lunch programmes during this period, an increase of 33.5% over 2012.
3924In 2013, SMCCU hosted:
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Our largest group lunchevents this year were with
DTCM Australia & NewZealand as well as
Sacoor Brothers. Othernotable groups includedEmirates NBD, Formaxx,
Rider, Levett-Bucknell andEcolab.
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3102 5027 %5.33 2102 .
guests in public brunches guests in private brunches
In 2013, SMCCU hosted:
guests in public dinners guests in private dinners372 1038In total, 1410 guests participated in SMCCUs Cultural Dinner programmes during this period, an increase of 73.5% over 2012.
In total, 1416 guests participated in SMCCUs Cultural Brunch programmes during this period, an increase of 100% over 2012.
As a part of our expanded programmes, the SMCCU has added for 2013 two additional weekly public events, Cultural Dinner every Tuesday evening and a Saturday Cultural Brunch. These new programmes were well received and the brunch has become a popular family event. Private Cultural Dinners were also held throughout the year as a part of our well established bespoke cultural meals programmes.
CULTURAL DINNER & BRUNCH
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Notable guests included South African Womens Association,
Shell Exploration & Production, Praxis Global and Michelin AMZ.
023 3102 6141
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3102 0141 %5.37 2102
Our Heritage & Walking Tours top the list for people who want to learn more about the historic areas of Dubai. The Heritage Tour is by far the most popular programme at SMCCU. The Heritage Tour includes a visit through the Historic District, visit inside the Diwan Masjid followed by a Q & A session inside the SMCCU House where Arabic coffee and dates are served.
HERITAGE & WALKING TOURS
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attended public guided Heritage & Walking Tours
attended private guided Heritage & Walking Tours
In total, 11,342 guests participated in SMCCUs Heritage & Walking Tours during this period, an increase of 42% over 2012.
8803In 2013, SMCCU hosted:
The Walking Tour includes a visit through the Historic District
followed by a Q & A session, inside the SMCCU House where
Arabic coffee and dates are served.
3102 %24 2102
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Since its introduction in 2010, the Creekside Tour, has continued to gain in popularity with our guests. This more extensive tour which lasts 2 hours, includes all the features of the Heritage Tour as well as a trip across the creek by abra, a traditional wooden boat, still a vital form of transportation across the Dubai Creek. The visit includes a walk along the creek to the Textile Souq, and then across the creek to the Spice and Gold Souq followed by a Q & A session which includes Arabic coffee and dates at the SMCCU house.
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The tour is frequented by VIPs of top companies who come to live in the UAE or attend its many conferences, because
of its inclusive information about trade and the means of living in the past in Old
Dubai. Notable guests included executives from Baker Hughes.
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guests for public Iftars guests for private Iftars
In total, 1630 guests participated in SMCCUs Ramadan Iftar Programme during this period, a decrease of 18% over 2012. As Ramadan has now moved into the summer months, our guests are traveling out of the country during this period.
490In 2013, SMCCU hosted:
The Iftars are a seasonal event held in the holy month of Ramadan. During July-Aug 2013, the SMCCU invited guests to join a traditional breaking-of-the-fast meal at our wind tower house in the historic district. Following the meal, guests are guided on a casual walk around the beautiful Al Fahidi Historic District with its breathtaking views of the Dubai Creek and historic district. The evening closes with a visit to the Diwan Masjid which is frequented by local worshippers preparing for the evening prayers.
This month long event strives to give visitors and expats a
glimpse of the religious tradition of fasting and prayer.
0361 3102 %81 2102 .
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guests for public masjid tours
guests for private masjid tours
A total 31,899 guests participated in SMCCUs Jumeirah Masjid Visit programme during this period, an increase of 5% over the 2012.
4307In 2013, SMCCU hosted:
JUMEIRAH MASJID VISIT
In an effort to de-mystify Islam and educate visitors on the role of religion in the UAE and Arab and Muslim society at large, the SMCCU hosts guided tours of the masjid (mosque). Over the past 15 years, the Jumeirah Masjid has been a focal point of SMCCUs Open Doors, Open Minds. programme and our Freedom to Ask campaign where visitors inquire about the culture, traditions and religions of the people of the UAE without restraint.
The programme remains to be one of kind in the UAE as we strive to provide guests with a unique experience inside the
house of worship.
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99813 3102 %5 2102.
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MOSQUE VISITS GRAND MASJID & DIWAN MASJID
In 2013 the SMCCU continued its private tours at the Grand Mosque in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dubais Rashidiya, and the Diwan Mosque in the Al Fahidi Historic District of Dubai. These tours are tailored to meet the needs of private schools and universities in the UAE as a part of SMCCUs educational programmes. Its focus is to help guests and students learn about the role of the masjid in Emirati and Muslim life. Schools are keen to use our programme as an educational tool, helping students better understand the people and the norms where they currently reside. In December 2013, we add the Sultan Ahli Mosque visit programme in Mizhar 2 for schools.
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The SMCCU continues to focus its efforts on providing educators and their students with a specialised programme that invites learners from all walks of life to expand their cultural knowledge of the UAE. Our goal is to educate students at every school level, through our well established programmes that complement the UAE curriculum as well as giving visiting schools and universities a firsthand experience of the UAEs humble but significant beginnings, history of the Arab World and its traditions, and religious foundations.
Participating schools and universities are welcomed to a bespoke programmes held in the Al Fahidi Historic District tailored to the educational level of the students. The programme consists of Heritage Tours, Cultural Meals as well as Cultural Awareness presentations at their school or our venue, and participation by our volunteers in youth forums throughout the year. In addition the Masjid Visit Programme provides schools with a full range of activities to help students integrate and understand the Emirati way of life, and faith practices. Refer to page 42 for a full listing of participating schools & universities.
In 2013, SMCCU hosted:
Schools & Universities participated
Students visited our programmes an increase of 40% over 2012.
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EDUCATIONAL SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES PROGRAMMES
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3102 %04 2102
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Many Corporations including, Kelloggs, Shell
Outpost, AW Rostamani & Barclays choose the
SMCCU for its induction and educational programmes.
The SMCCU offers bespoke Cultural Awareness Presentations (CAPs)for companies and institutions to introduce the customs, culture and heritage of the UAE and increase their knowledge of cultural norms important for doing business in the UAE. We also provide guest speakers for conventions and seminars and are keen to be a part of the overall development of cultural knowledge in the region. We also are increasingly focused on welcoming many business travel groups who are here to study the prospect of expanding their businesses in the region, and have become an integral part of promoti...