We celebrated UAE Flag Day a couple of weeks ago, and UAE National Day is just around the corner.
With a community of 88.52 % expatriates in the UAE, many of us might be unfamiliar with Emirati culture. As a nursery manager, I even hear many Emirati parents telling me that they worry about children not learning their native language.
In early years education we must offer cultural context to our children’s learning so that they can understand more about the world around them. Read on for some top tips on exploring UAE culture.
Things to do:
- Enroll your child in a nursery that includes an Arabic language programme or sign your child up for extra-curricular language clubs so your child can grasp the basics before going off to big school – it will expand their way of thinking and help them to communicate with more people!
- Talk to your child about the different cultures here in the UAE, where people come from, how they may dress, different religious beliefs people have. Celebrate the differences and similarities!
- Get inspired by the local landscape to make arts and crafts based on things you see here in the UAE from the tallest building to the camels in the desert. Try building a ‘Burj Khalifa’ with recycled paper rolls or shoe boxes or making a camel collage with sand.
- Sample Emirati food.
- Try dates and talk about the palm trees they grow on.
Places to go:
- Take a trip to the desert to see the sand dunes and explore UAE nature. You could visit the Wadis or lake at Hatta for a boat trip too.
- Visit the Heritage Village in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Hatta for a glimpse of how traditional life was in the UAE prior to modernisation.
- Go to The Camel Farm between Al Qudra and Al Ain Road, where you can even get ‘Camel Hugging Therapy’!
- Camp Bedouin style in the desert
- Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and talk to your children about the Islamic religion.
- Take an Abra ride in Dubai Creek and talk about the fishing and pearl diving history of Dubai.
- Drive out to Al Ain Oasis for a stroll amongst the palm trees. Talk about the dates that grow on the palms and where the water comes from with so little rain here.
I hope you have some new ideas for activities to immerse your little one in the UAE’s culture this month. At The Little Dreamers Nursery we celebrate and include all cultures within our programme. We offer Arabic language classes as part of our curriculum and involve our community in special celebrations! On 21st November, 4:00pm to 6:00pm you are invited to celebrate the Spirit of the Nation with us at our annual UAE National Day Celebration.