Nasif Kayed is the sound of Culture in Dubai. From new Opera to Old Markets and Culture Centre
DUBAI: Although this city is written off as a stereotype of five-stars hotels, super-high buildings and huge shopping malls, there is so much more to discover beyond this. Take a trip to the Old Town packed with cultural heritage, art galleries and souks. If you are searching history and what´s going on in Dubai today, pay attention what Nasif Kayed has to reveal.
No, everybody isn´t rich
“Everybody think people of Dubai are rich – that all Arabs are rich. Forget it. Drive to the emirate of Ajman – there life is about Dubai was 30 years ago”, Nasif Kayed says. He is Founder of the Arab Culturalist, a cultural consultancy company helping to improve organisation´s inter-cultural communication and cultural know-how.
Nasif is very clear what you as a guest and tourist miss out if your visit to this city only is related to beach, great restaurants and shopping. “May be it will be better to stay at home”, Nasif to my surprise says. He means we have the same shops in London and Paris and many even live next to beautiful beaches. To your surprise, Dubai has culture and something extra.
Eat with bare hands
Choosing Dubai, you should search for the cultural offer – from modern opera to art galleries and not least a visit the oldest part of Dubai. Five years ago, Nasif Kayed was director of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
“Everyone will enjoy visiting this cultural center. Here you will discover our traditions, taste lovely local dishes and even eat the food with bare hands, as we still do in our homes”.
Up-dated business leaders understand how cultural norms and values affect corporate culture as key to successful employee relations and team building. The ruling families controlling the development are fully aware of the cultural aspect and Nasif has become an important part of the team of advisers.
-What is your Dubai favourites or activities?
“My three favourites are visiting the souks and museums. Then a desert experience – such as overnight camping. It´s more than a camping, more than desert. It´s about the light, the darkness and the wind breeze and the difference if the sand is red or white. I would combine the desert tour with a meal of camel meat made with spices and natural herbs, drinking camel milk and eating fresh dates”.
Just 50 years old
His focus has always been to find a common ground through storytelling and answering questions about the Arab and Muslim culture at large. And how much have changed in just one generation. Remember, Dubai is only 50 years old as independent city of The United Arab Emirates.
We have a choice
“My aim is to try to improve the connection among us, instead of dividing. From food to dress, lifestyle to social protocols, or attitude to culture and traditions, we have so much in common. This because of the fact that we are all from the same species – we are all members of one human race. Life is too short. We have a choice, between wrong and right, good and bad. Be good to your lords, human being, to the environment, the animals and to more than 200 nationalities living in Dubai.”
City without restriction
Expo 2020 starting in October is the next big event taking place in a city expanded with high-rise buildings and smaller towns far into the desert. The question is; Does Dubai have any restrictions? To answer this, only the head of Sheik Mohammed and the ruling families can give any answer. We have a response from Nasif Kayed.
The New Vision
“Sheik Mohammed once declared that we can do far more than we originally thought. The new vision is briefly Moving on – where one great idea follows the other. I believe we are heading for something different than we originally thought. More or less, that no one knows where Dubai will end. That´s one reason culture in Dubai is so important.”
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