Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for cultural understanding is an organization that encourage awareness of Emirati Culture, religion, customs and traditions between exiled, foreigners and visitors in the UAE, as well as goal to remove cultural obstacles.

SMCCU was established by Sheikh Mohammed IV in 1998 which built based on traditional Emirati house ‘wind tower’ and located near historic Al Fahidi in Bur Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed Centre is function under the banner of Open doors and Open minds.

The Centre has several interesting activities including visits of heritage sites and famous heritage landmarks in Dubai, Educational system for students, cultural awareness programs, teaching lectures, Arabic language classes in Gulf dialect, in Ramadan Iftar parties, and along all that giving a tremendous experience of traditional food of Emirates.

The cultural awareness which SMCCU gives to the companies are included the private sectors and public sectors both across the UAE, which meets the needs of a special institution.

Invites visitors

Sheikh Mohammed Centre of cultural understanding invites visitors and tourists from different cultures and countries and the residents of the same country as well to explore the rich culture and heritage of United Arab Emirates.

It invites them to learn the local culture, their constant customs and religion of UAE through the different interactive programs under the banner and aim of the Centre. The motto of the Centre is ‘Open doors, open Minds’

Cultural meals in Centre

There is offered the cultural meals in Sheikh Mohammed Centre to understand the culture and atmosphere of the wind tower house. Along that the visitors will enjoy the meal with local flavors while chit chat with and Emirati person as a host who will explain to the visitors about the detail of the cultural meal, customs and religion.

Sheikh Mohammed Centre of Cultural Understanding offers Cultural breakfast to the visitors on Monday and Wednesday at 10am, Lunch on Sunday till Thursday at 1pm, and cultural dinner on every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday night at 7:00pm and they offer Saturday brunch at 10:30 am.

Visitors will have light meat in these cultural meals, vegetable dishes, breads and Arabian desserts like Emirati donuts dipped in fig syrup and along that they serve nonalcoholic Arabic drinks.

During session with local guide where they are giving details about the culture of Dubai they offer visitors to enjoy coffee with dates with sitting in the huge courtyard of the Centre.


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Seating arrangement

The seating arrangement in the Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Centre of understanding is representing a very typical and organic culture of Bedouin. The carpet sand mats are typically Bedouin style, pillows are perfectly placed on the carpets where visitors can enjoy the question answer session with the local and, while this session they can enjoy traditional tea or Arabic Kehwa sitting there.

Every question will answer patiently by following this motto of the Centre ‘Open doors, Open Minds’.

Tours of Historic district

From the Centre they offer you to visit to several historical places of United Arab Emirates every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30am, On Saturday at 9:00am. These all visits include a tour inside mosque near Ruler’s court.

The tour of SMCCU includes a learning walk through Al Bastakiya neighboring place of Al Fahidi historic district to Al Farooq Mosque. After the tour, visitors will come back to the house of Centre where they will follow question answer session along cultural meals.

For the Centre’s open door open minds theme the Jumeirah mosque tour will be a focal point to this theme. It is an opportunity to connect with the local guide, clarify the questions at the same time and clock the pictures of these historical places all around so it will be helpful in learning process of the UAE’s culture.

Seeing the building itself is worth watching and a learning process throughout this memorable historical tour. This beautifully restored wind tower house elaborates the cultural history and a rich heritage of Emiratis.

Educational courses

They also provide educational courses and different educational programs for the small age students and adult students as well. They arrange private group visits and cultural program and events for the groups of visitors and institutions.

Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Centre also offers educational programs that are fulfilling your learning of culture requirement. These educational programs are available for schools, colleges and universities all over the UAE and for other world.

Who should visit?

Anyone who is keen on diving into Emirati culture and an old history should take this great opportunity of the activities following up by Emirati meals and tours of this nonprofit cultural Centre.

The person who is interested into Emirati culture and want to learn about this culture and its link with other part of world, can visit this nonprofit Centre to get more information about it by q/s session inside the Centre.


There are many tourist companies that offers different programs to the visitors and offers different prices for these programs. If you want to visit there you can contact with one of any tourist company to pre book or reserve your bookings.

Opening hours

The Centre is usually open from 8:00am to 4:00pm (Sunday to Thursday) and on Saturday 9:00m to 1:00pm. It is closed on Fridays.

Tours to SMCCU are going on full year but on its peak in Dubai’s tourist’s months from November to March.

Visitors Expectations 

  • You can gain a great knowledge of Dubai’s culture and customs at the SMCCU (Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Centre of Understanding)
  • It helps visitors to have a better understanding of UAE’s culture and customs closely.
  • The visitors will have a great experience of their Cultural classes.
  • They will enjoy with their different learning and knowledgeable activities.
  • It is a worth place to visit as they offer a lot of cultural programs to expand the cultural awareness of visitors
  • Visitors should know before visiting the SMMCU that in this tour they will have tour to the Mosque as well so their dressing should be according to that (knees and shoulder should have covered)
  • Visitors will have a journey of old heritage in modern style of structure.
  • They can experience most authentic side of the UAE.


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