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The real deal

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Tournai, Belgium
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The real deal

Hi, I just want to launch a controversial question. Here in Europe there are now some very cheap flights to Dubai. I was reading the "things to do" in Dubai and it seems that there is no much culture. Is Dubai just for shopping and eating out or there is any Art galleries there that are not shown in TA listings? I have to say that I hate malls, I try to avoid them as much as I can but I could easily spend five hours or more in a good museum. Can you go to Dubai, skip the malls and still have fun?

Here and there
Destination Expert
for Dubai, Pissouri
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1. Re: The real deal

Not sure why your question is controversial

Yes. There are art galleries museums, heritage areas and many other things to do besides shop. You can also read the city guides in the top questions and put art gallery in the search engine to find more information

It's worth bearing in mind that the malls in Dubai are not just places to shop. As it is very hot and humid during certain months, the malls are places to go with your family for many activities and there is something other than shops in all of the malls and many lovely restaurants to eat in.

Edited: 26 April 2014, 21:16
Destination Expert
for Dubai
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216 reviews
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2. Re: The real deal

I agree, there's a whole lot to this part of the world than shopping and glitzy malls. I agree with Latimer that malls aren't just for shopping, they are multipurpose, comfortable spaces to spend time with family and friends.

For info about cultural and heritage sites:


Connect with these wonderful folks here when you visit, a great opportunity to learn about the UAE and to interact with Emiratis: http://www.cultures.ae/

Also, not to miss- the legacy and stories of Emirati women told by Emirati women:

The Women's Museum


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3. Re: The real deal

The reason there is so much emphasis on the beaches, shopping and malls is that, to be frank, that is what most people come here to experience whilst on holiday. It is a favoured destination for year-round sun and shopping which is why so many reports concentrate on that.

For example, even though the shopping festival is hugely highlighted, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have their own Art Fairs (Art Dubai and Art Abu Dhabi) which draw collectors and galleries from around the world and have a plethora of talks/exhibitions/shows/parties associated with it, and there are a huge collection of galleries (mainly concentrated in Al Serkal http://alserkalavenue.ae/, Al Quoz, Bastaqia and the DIFC) here too.


Sharjah (about half an hour away) has some great museums to explore.

I also think it is worth a trip to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi http://www.szgmc.ae/en/

At the moment there is also an excellent exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi called 'The History of the World In 100 Objects' that has come from the British Museum. There is a timetable of (free) talks/events held to highlight this or you can just go see the exhibition itself.


Tournai, Belgium
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4. Re: The real deal

Thank for your replies. I will check the internet addresses that you have recommended.

Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
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5. Re: The real deal

There are lots of cultural places to go to. I too am not a Mall lover when on holiday. I consider I can visit one of those close to home and don't go on holiday to visit one.

6. Re: The real deal

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