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Dubai’s top 5 culture hotspots 

Photo by Nextvoyage from Pexels

Dubai is a cultural mecca. It’s a city that combines the innovation of technological advances with Dubai tradition. These are just 5 of the culture hotspots to check out the next time you visit Dubai. 

  • Al Fahidi 
  • Grand Mosque
  • Al Shindagha Museum
  • Alserkal Avenue
  • Hatta 

Al Fahidi

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in Dubai during the late 19th century? If your answer was yes, then the historic town of Al Fahidi is the perfect culture hotspot for you. Located along the Dubai Creek, Al Fahidi was originally built in the early 1900’s, and many of the towns original buildings are still intact. As you trek the winding streets, admiring the historical buildings, you will come across several museums, art galleries, and traditional food stalls which will transport you to 1900’s Dubai. To get as much historic knowledge about Old Dubai as possible, book yourself on a walking tour of the town. 

Image by Ankur Panchbudhe

Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque is the hub of religious and cultural life in Dubai. Holding up to 1,200 worshippers, it is an architectural masterpiece with intricate geometric carvings and blue mosaic. The original Grand Mosque was built in 1900, but was replaced in 1960 and re-built again in 1998 to resemble the original structure. Non-Muslims can enter The Grand Mosque from 9:30am to 11:30am Sunday to Thursday for free tours.

Image by Guilhem Vellut

Al Shindagha Museum

If you would like to learn more about Dubai’s creek history, and wider Emirati culture, than head to the Al Shindagha Museum. Sat along the Dubai Creek, the Al Shindagha Museum offers a carefully curated tour of interactive videos, historic photos, and artefacts that show exactly what it was like to raise a family by Dubai’s waterway. Then, explore the legacy and trading importance of Emirati fragrances at The Perfume House. The Al Shindagha Museum is a fascinating day out, overflowing with beautiful artefacts and interactive fun. 

Image by A.Davey

Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue is the cultural hotspot of modern Dubai. What was once an industrial area of 40 warehouses has been transformed into a cultural bohemian of art galleries, dance studios, and artisanal cafes. The transformation of Alserkal Avenue began in 2008 when one gallery moved to the area. Word soon caught on, and over the past 13 years contemporary artists have been relocating to the area, creating the Alserkal Avenue you see today. Discover new art and some of the best coffee Dubai has to offer at Alserkal Avenue. 

Image by siska maria eviline

Hatta

Venture outside of the skyscraper city of Dubai and to the beautiful mountain village of Hatta. Many people visit Hatta to take part in activities such as mountain biking and paddle boarding, however the historic village of Hatta is also incredible to explore. In the town centre, you can find Hatta Heritage Village, which has been preserved and reconstructed to showcase centuries of rural living in Dubai. You can wander through traditional Dubai huts, and even observe villagers carrying out traditional activities, such as making jewellery, weaponry, and pottery. The beautiful surroundings of Hatta, coupled with learning about the historic culture of the village, make for an unforgettable day out. 

Image by Sergei Gussev

Don’t let laundry stop you from exploring the cultural hotspots of Dubai. Book your Laundryheap service today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Landmarks of Abu Dhabi

Photo by Kevin Villaruz from Pexels

Abu Dhabi is home to a culture crossover of modern and ancient landmarks. These are our top 10 must-see. 

  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque 
  • Etihad Towers 
  • Masdar City
  • Heritage Village
  • Al Ain Oasis
  • Jebel Hafit
  • Mamsha Al Khair 
  • Qasr Al Watan 
  • Qasr Al-Hosn
  • Sheikh Zayed Bridge

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque 

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the crown jewel of Abu Dhabi. Named after the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the building is made from Macedonian marble which gives the structure a feeling of grandness. The Mosque can hold 40,000 worshippers, and is also home to the worlds largest crystal chandelier. 

Photo by Pavlo Luchkovski from Pexels

Etihad Towers  

Etihad Towers is a five-tower structure which offers areas to live, work, stay, shop, and dine. The dramatic structures include exclusive shopping at The Avenue, a five star hotel for guests to enjoy a luxury stay, and an observation deck with panoramic views of Abu Dhabi. If you’re looking for grandeur on your holiday, book yourself into the Etihad Towers and enjoy. 

Image by Dr. Norbert Heidenbluth

Masdar City 

Glimpse into the future at Masdar City, the centre of clean energy technology in Abu Dhabi. Visitors can enter the city completely free of charge, and ride into the centre in unmanned electric cars. Marvel at the architecture, made with renewable energy in mind, before relaxing with a coffee at one of the many coffee shops and restaurants within the city. This futuristic city proves that renewable energy is the future, and it proves to be an exciting experience for residents and tourists alike. 

Image by Sa7er90

Heritage Village 

Fully immerse yourself in Abu Dhabi’s past at the Heritage Village. Run by the Emirates Heritage Club, local artisans run regular public workshops which allow visitors to pick up local skills. Whilst exploring the village, enjoy traditional Abu Dhabi food, entertainment, and shop for beautiful, one-of-a-kind, handmade artefacts. If you want to get a true sense of Abu Dhabi, the Heritage Village should be on your holiday bucket list. 

Image by Banja-Frans Mulder

Al Ain Oasis 

Continuing with the exploration of Abu Dhabi’s past, Al Ain Oasis provides a unique insight into Abu Dhabi’s inhabitants that began taming the desert 4,000 years ago. Spread across 1,200 hectares, farmers tens to thousands of date palms, fodder crops, and fruit trees. Water to the oasis is supplied by wells and the ancient falaj system, that taps underground or mountain aquifers. Al Ain Oasis has been a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list since 2011, but has only recently been opened to the public due to its educational Eco-Centre and shaded pathways.

Image by Allan Henderson

Jebel Hafit 

There is no better way to view Al Ain, Abu Dhabi’s lush garden city, than from the top of Jebel Hafit mountain. Reaching 1,249 meters into the sky, Jebel Hafit is Abu Dhabi’s highest peak, and the United Arab Emirates second highest. Formed from limestone, you can reach the mountains summit via car, motorbike, or bicycle. As you journey up the mountain, observe the weathered limestone which has held thousands of fossils over the years that have uncovered Abu Dhabi’s ancient history. After making it down from the mountain, head to the Desert Park to discover more about the archaeological remains that have been found. 

Image by Riyaz Ahamed

Mamsha Al Khair  

Mamsha Al Khair is an inspirational landmark of granite and limestone installations spread along the Abu Dhabi Corniche promenade. Each installation has inscriptions from globally renowned and inspirational leaders, both past and present, reflecting the United Arab Emirates ongoing commitment to a culture of generosity and giving. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the monuments, taking photos and videos with them, so that future generations can foster a legacy of generosity. 

Image by FritzDaCat

Qasr Al Watan 

Qasr Al Watan is a grand Presidential palace, which proudly displays the rich legacy of knowledge and tradition that has shaped the United Arab Emirates. As you wander the rooms and halls of Qasr Al Watan you will discover the history of the United Arab Emirates, from the country’s formation, to it’s governing traditions and values. One of the palaces most impressive attractions is the Palace in Motion event, a mesmerising light and sound show that celebrates the UAE’s journey. For a cultural experience that mixes art with history, head to Qasr Al Watan. 

Image by Xavier Cartron

Qasr Al-Hosn

Built as a protective watchtower in 1761, before becoming home to the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, Qasr Al-Hosn is a must see landmark. Made from stone, it is one of Abu Dhabi’s oldest stone buildings and is mesmerising to look at. The museum within the watchtowers grounds takes you on the journey of how the land around Abu Dhabi has changed over the years, giving you a feeling of connection to the land. 

Image by Peturrunar

Sheikh Zayed Bridge

The Sheikh Zayed Bridge is said to be the most complex bridge ever built. Designed by architect Dame Zaha Hadid, the bridge is made from curved arches, which mimic sand dunes, a dynamic lighting design, and road decks which suspend from symmetrical steel arches. The bridge stands 64-metres-high and connects Abu Dhabi with the Saadiyat islands across the Maqta Channel. Despite being an everyday bridge, it’s construction is far from everyday, and definitely an Abu Dhabi landmark worth looking out for. 

Image by Alvis Pulvinar

Whilst you explore the landmarks of Abu Dhabi, we will explore your laundry pile. Book your Laundryheap dry cleaning service today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Best beaches in Sharjah

Sharjah has a desert climate, with the average daily temperature reaching 26 degrees celsius. This temperature, coupled with the array of beautiful beaches available, makes Sharjah the perfect beach holiday destination. The only question is, which of Sharjah’s beaches is the best to choose from? 

  • Al Khan beach
  • Al Fisht beach
  • Kalba beach
  • Khorfakkan beach
  • Al Lulayyah beach

Al Khan beach 

Located just five minutes away from the Sharjah maritime museum and Sharjah Aquarium, Al Khan beach is one of the most popular in Sharjah, especially for tourists. The 600 meters of sand provide ample space for relaxing in the sun, before taking a dip in the crystal blue ocean. For those who are slightly more adventurous, the Al Khan surf school offers a variety of water sport activities, including surfing, kayaking, and parasailing. If you are enjoying the beach with small children, there is even a play park to occupy their time, leaving you to relax and enjoy the sun warming your skin as you lay on the sand. 

Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

Al Fisht beach 

Al Fisht beach is the perfect location to enjoy a picnic and walk across the sand. Due to the strong currents, it is strictly prohibited to swim in the water, however, the white sands offer more than enough entertainment. Once you have enjoyed the beach, head to the Al Fisht park, directly opposite the beach, and take a stroll around the perfectly manicured grass lawns. For the little ones, there is a children’s play area complete with swings, see-saws, and a multitude of slides. On clear nights, Al Fisht beach is a popular spot for stargazing as the sounds of the waves crashing as you admire the stars make for an idyllic and relaxing evening. 

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Kalba beach

If you are an animal lover, Kalba beach is perfect for you. Located a stone’s throw away from Khor Kalba Conservation Reserve, it is not unusual to spot rare wildlife wandering across the beach. Kalba beach is also an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles, which are critically endangered, and Arabian-collared kingfishers. The pristine waters of Kalba beach make it a popular site for scuba diving, as both children and adults can discover the habitats of many underwater creatures. Unlike any of the other beaches in Sharjah, at Kalba beach you can spot local fishermen catching fish along the horizon. 

Khorfakkan beach

Khorfakkan beach is a favourite for both tourists and locals. Unlike Al Fisht beach, there is an abundance of fun water activities on offer at Khorfakkan. Whether you enjoy swimming, fishing, and diving, or want to try something more daring, such as kayaking or parasailing, there is plenty of fun to be had. Once you have exhausted yourself playing in the glittering sea, Khorfakkan beach has goalposts set up for a lighthearted football competition. At the end of the day, you can stroll down the beach to Oceanic Resort and Spa, which offers luxury accommodation and pamper packages, perfect for unwinding after a long day of having fun in the sun. 

Al Lulayyah beach

If camping on the beach under the stars sounds appealing to you, then Al Lulayyah beach is the perfect beach for you. You will find Al Lulayyah on the east coast, separated from the main road by farmland. Its peaceful tranquility attracts campers, particularly on the weekend, who pitch their tents right on the sand and enjoy a few days relaxing by the sea. If camping on the sand doesn’t interest you, one of the nearby farms welcomes campers, and even comes complete with a BBQ area and playground. Al Lulayyah beach is the ideal beach for taking things slow, enjoying a dip in the sea, and maybe even taking part in some fishing. 

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava from Pexels

Whilst you explore the beaches that Sharjah has to offer, let Laundryheap take care of your dirty laundry. To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Fun facts about Abu Dhabi

Photo by Iva Prime from Pexels

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab  Emirates. When translated from Arabic, Abu Dhabi means, “Father of the Gazelle.” Here are 10 more fun facts about Abu Dhabi. 

  • Designed by a Japanese architect
  • The Yas Marina Circuit 
  • Living on renewable resources
  • The Capital Gate Building
  • Ferrari World 
  • Humpback dolphins
  • The world’s largest desert 
  • And the world’s largest carpet
  • Air-conditioned bus stops 
  • The safest city in the world

Designed by a Japanese architect

Abu Dhabi’s beautifully modern design is down to Japanese architect Katsuhiko Takahashi. In 1967, Sheikh Zayed, who was president at the time, proposed a revamping of the city to modernise it. Katsuhiko Takahashi worked closely with Sheikh Zayed to design the city, and helped spearhead the project, until the Abu Dhabi we see today was built. Initially, the city was only supposed to house 40,000 people. Today, 1.48 million people inhabit the city. 

The Yas Marina Circuit 

The Yas Marina Circuit, where the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is held, is estimated to have cost AED 3.6 billion to construct. The 5.55 km track covers 21 hectares, has 21 turns, and can be split into 2 separate tracks so that 2 races can be simultaneously hosted. It is hailed as the most technologically advanced circuit in the world. 

Living on renewable resources

Masdar City, a planned city project in Abu Dhabi, will be the world’s first fully sustainable city. Set to be completed in 2030, the city will be powered by renewable energy sources, and be home to 50,000 people. A field of 22-hectares holds 87,777 solar panels, which will provide energy for the city. It will not completely carbon-neutral, which was the original aim, but, it will set an example to all cities across the world. 

The Capital Gate Building 

The Capital Gate Building stands 35 stories high and has over 16,000 square meters of office space. It leans at an 18-degree angle, which makes it the furthest leaning building in the world. It is commonly known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi, as it leans 14 degrees more than the Leaning Tower of Pissa. 

Ferrari World  

Opened in 2010, Ferrari World is a theme park dedicated to the luxury sports car of the same name. As you walk from ride to ride there are banners that explain how Ferrari started and how the car rose to fame. Each ride at the park is a thrill, and you can expect to encounter every twist, turn, and high speed that you would expect from a Formula One race. The main event is ‘Formula Rossa’. Hailed as the world’s fastest rollercoaster, it covers 2.2 km and reaches speeds of over 240 kmph. It is certainly a ride for thrill-seekers. 

Humpback dolphins

The coastal waters of Abu Dhabi provide favourable conditions for the Indian humpback dolphin. It is estimated that 2,000 humpback dolphins roam the waters of Abu Dhabi, which is the most significant number of these aquatic mammals that can be found anywhere in the world. Asides from Abu Dhabi, you can find the Indian humpback whale in South Africa, Kenya, and Mozambique. 

By Mandy – Dolphin Following Dhow, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29092883

The world’s largest desert 

Abu Dhabi thrives amongst the world’s largest contiguous desert, known as the Empty Quarter Desert. Spanning over 1,000 km, the terrain is covered by sand dunes of a reddish-orange colour. The daily average temperature of the Empty Quarter Desert is 47 degrees, so the fauna found is limited to arachnids and rodents. 

And the world’s largest carpet 

In the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest carpet in the world can be found. It spreads roughly 60,570 square feet and weighs 35 tons. Taking over a year to complete, it took the work of over a thousand weavers to create this masterpiece. When the mosque opened, it was not only home to the largest carpet in the world, but also the largest chandelier. Unfortunately, this title has changed, but it still holds the title of the largest chandelier in a mosque. 

Air-conditioned bus stops 

The average temperature in Abu Dhabi is 29.6 degrees, meaning that the city can become incredibly hot and uncomfortable. To combat this, air-conditioned bus stops have begun to pop-up across the city. These bus stops are fitted with air conditioning, seats, and top to bottom see-through glass panes, that help travellers stay cool on their journeys.   

The safest city in the world 

Abu Dhabi was ranked the safest city in the world in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In 2018, they won the title with 86.46 points out of 100. This score was topped the year after when they achieved 88.26 points. In 2020, Abu Dhabi managed to hold onto its title. The ranking is based on user feedback who reported how serious they felt crime was in the city, how safe they feel, and whether they have concerns about being attacked due to discrimination. 

If you are living, working, or traveling around Abu Dhabi, don’t let laundry get in the way. Book a Laundryheap dry cleaning service, and we will sort it for you. 

To book your Laundryheap service, head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Traditional Emirati Clothing

The history of traditional Emirati Clothing originates from Bedouins and reigns supreme on modesty for both men and women. It represents the culture and religion of the region, and also happens to be suitable for the high-temperature climate.

A majority of Emirati’s still wear the traditional clothing, especially when and where it is required, despite the western influence.

Here are the basics of what you need to know about traditional Emirati clothing.

Traditional Emirati Men’s Clothing

  • Kandura / Dishdasha: The traditional Emirati male clothing is a long robe called the kandura or dishdasha. It is traditionally in the colour white, but there are other colours, like grey and brown, which are more likely to be worn during the winter months. The length of the kandura is typically ankle length, however, those who have a royal or wealthy status wear longer robes.
  • Ghutra/Keffiyeh: The kandura is traditionally worn with a white or red and white checked cloth draped over the head called the ghutra or keffiyeh, which is held in place by a headband the agal. These headdresses are typically worn to protect the face from blowing dust and the harsh rays of the sun.
  • Bisht: The Bisht is a jacket-like garment worn over the Kandura. It is often worn by wealthy or royal figures and also on special occasions like weddings or festivals.

Traditional Emirati Women’s Clothing

  • Abaya: Abayas are long, black flowing dresses that cover the body except for the face, feet and hands. Tradition considers black abayas to be socially conservative. However, there are now various designs and colours that include embroideries and embellishments. It is common for women to wear western outfits underneath their abaya.
  • Shela (Shayla): Women who follow the traditional dress standards usually wear a headscarf called Shela, also known as Shayla, to cover the hair. It is a lightweight material that is commonly black and worn with the abaya. A majority of women choose to wear designer scarves, like Dior, as an alternative.
  • Gishwa: For more traditional women, a gishwa is a more modest option that acts as a veil to cover the entire face, with a thin enough fabric to still be able to see through it. This is more popular among older women.
  • Burqa: Another traditional piece of Emirati clothing that is more modest is called the burqa. This type of headscarf or hijab covers the entire face and body, only revealing the eyes. It is worn over the abaya and is also common among older women.

Traditional Emirati clothing needs to be well taken care of to remain neat and presentable. Clothing can be cleaned carefully at home or taken to a Laundryheap for professional laundry and dry cleaning service.