Surah Al-Hujurat in our Lives – Part 9

hujurat 9“The Bedouins say: ‘We believe.’ Say: You believe not but you only say: ‘We have surrendered (in Islam)’, for faith has not yet entered Your hearts. But if you obey Allah and his Messenger (sa), He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

This Surah is a piece of legislation for a comprehensive system that will result in an ideal society. Verse 14 deals with the tribes that converted to Islam – those that had an arrogant attitude. They felt entitled to receive favours from the Prophet (sa) because they had not fought the Muslims but accepted Islam peacefully. They thought the Prophet (sa) ‘owed them’.

Scholars point to tribal groups, like Muzainah, Juhainah, Aslam, Ashja, Ghifar, and Bani Asad bin Khuzaimah in particular. We find in Sayyid Qutb’s “In the Shade of the Quran”: “The first of these verses is said to have been revealed in relation to the Bedouins of the Asad tribe who, as soon as they accepted Islam, boasted by saying: ‘We have attained faith.’ Allah (swt) wanted to show them the truth of what was in their hearts when they said this, stating that they only embraced Islam in submission, while true faith had not touched their hearts or souls.”

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Surah Al-Hujurat in Our Lives (Part 8)

22“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious)]. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Al-Hujurat 48:13)

In Ayah 13, we look at what Allah (swt) has commanded to all of humanity, not just believers. The call is to every member of society – a general rule for everyone on how to interact with each other or groups comprised of each other. Islam gives equal respect to everyone because, as humans, we are all Allah’s (swt) creations.

شَعَبَ – The same word is used for coral reef in the Arabic language. This word has two opposite meanings – separation (branching out) or connection (at the base), i.e., starting from one point and separating out or starting from branches and gathering into a single point. Example: From Adam (as) and Hawwa come every human being or all human beings go back to one father and one mother. All nations branch out into tribes and also further into smaller family groups. They all look different, as every person is unique based on their skin color, facial features and other characteristics. There is no concept of racism in Islam; it is not tolerated by Allah (swt). Allah (swt) created everyone – believers and disbelievers – equal. Think about it:

  1. Why do you put people down?
  2. Why are you proud of yourself?
  3. Why do you fight people?
  4. Why do you not see everyone as equal?
  5. Why do you differentiate among people?
  6. Do you have anything to do with the creation of another being?

Each tribe speaks a certain language or has a certain financial/educational status; Allah (swt) chose our nation and tribe for us. We think we know best, but only Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) know best. The true blessing is that of Iman. Why should we degrade others due to something they have not and cannot choose? This Ayah removes discrimination, stressing that no one is better than another. The point is that we benefit from each other’s cultures and learn from shared virtues. The fact that we are born in a certain country or into a certain family does not give us the right to be arrogant due to heritage. This was Allah’s (swt) will alone; our existence is not our choice.

Preserving the bonds of kinship (Silatur-Rahim) has significant importance in Islam. Getting to know each other is vital for the success of societies. We should know who our relatives are in order to appreciate the family structure and enjoy good relationships with our kin. Being aware of relationships among families, tribes, and nations creates empathy and love within that structure.

Finally the closest to Allah (swt) and the most valued by Him is one who has Taqwa (piety). The criteria are not family association tribal links or skin colour – the defining factor is Taqwa. Only Allah (swt) knows what is in someone’s heart; only He can decide who has Taqwa. Your tribe, nation or family will not give you honour in front of Allah (swt). Your tribe, nation, or family name will not bring you closer to Allah (swt). Only Taqwa is the measuring scale for your relationship with Allah (swt). We are warned that we must not be judgemental about another person. Prophet Muhammad (sa) chose Bilal ibn Rabah (rtam), a former slave, for calling out the Adhan. He did not choose anyone from his family or other Arab Sahabah; no one questioned him – they all simply accepted his decision. This is what our attitude should be like; if Allah (swt) chooses someone, He knows best. It is not because of what we see in them and how we judge them. Hence, the Ayah ends with “Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”

Allah’s (swt) knowledge encompasses everything – the apparent/hidden, future/present, possibilities/impossibilities, seen/unseen – nothing is hidden from Him. Allah (swt) is All-Aware of the “hidden” things – even the small things hidden in your heart. When used with the word العليم, additional depth and nuances are added to the meaning. Allah (swt) is All-Aware of things deep inside, hidden, secret, and unseen. He knows everybody’s secrets and so He is the only One Who can judge and assess Taqwa.

Keep in mind that this command and the attributes of Allah (swt) mentioned in Ayah 13 come after verses that talk about backbiting, calling others hurtful names and making false accusations, or, in other words, all the things a person uses to ridicule others. Allah (swt) now tells us that we are not qualified to judge. During the Farewell Sermon (Hajj), the Prophet (sa) advised the Ummah that the only redeemable quality on the Day of Judgement will be a person’s level of piety in front of Allah (swt) not who he was in life, his family name, or his connections; none of the latter things will benefit him. The test is Taqwa, and only Allah (swt) has knowledge of who the best is.

  1. If a person thinks very highly of his family name or status, it will lead him to transgress the boundaries defined in this Surah. He will become proud and arrogant.
  2. On Judgement Day, one of the questions that will be asked is: “Where are the pious?”
  3. The righteous will be honoured in front of everyone on the Day of Judgement.

We should focus on building our own character and safeguarding our Iman.

Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Tasneem Vali (Canada)

People Most Beloved to Allah – the Muqsiteen (المقسطين)


Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Tasneem Vali

“Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Al-Mumtahna 60:8)

Al-Muqsiteen are those who deal justly and equitably:

  • With themselves
  • With Allah (swt)
  • With others

Allah informs us:

“(They like to) listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden. So if they come to You (O Muhammad), either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt You In the least. And if You judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Al-Maidah 5:42)

In the Ayah above, Allah (swt) describes what the disbelievers were doing when the Prophet (sa) was in the process of delivering Allah’s message. They listened (excessively) to falsehood even though the Quran was there; they did not listen to the Quran.

Allah (swt) loves those who deal justly and those who remove injustice (whether with enemies or between believers).

The Prophet (sa) is then informed: “If they come to you (Prophet Muhammad): Judge between them or turn away from them.” (Al-Maidah 5:42) The Prophet (sa) could exercise these two options when the disbelievers came to him in order to solve their problems.

If he turned away from them, they did not have the means or power to harm him. If he decided to judge between them, then he was obliged to judge between them with justice, even though they were liars. In short, Allah (swt) loves those who are just and He is praising those who deal with their enemies truthfully.

Another situation where Allah (swt) encourages believers toward justice is in the following verse: “And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it complies with the command of Allah. Then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable.” (Al-Hujurat 49:9)

Even though your relatives or friends might be disbelievers, you need to be good to them and deal with them equitably. With those who are not fighting you or opposing Islam, you should maintain a cordial relationship and above all, be just with them. 

In a situation where both parties are believers, you need to be neutral to solve their problems. However, if one of the parties is clearly wrong, you must fight them until they return to the commands of Allah (swt). Just dispensing justice is not enough; you must remove the wrong and return the rights of the party harmed, if possible. Allah (swt) loves those who deal justly and those who remove injustice (whether with enemies or between believers).

There are three types of situations a believer might confront when dealing justly.

  1. With disbelievers
  2. With relatives or friends who are disbelievers
  3. With believers

Even though your relatives or friends might be disbelievers, you need to be good to them and deal with them equitably. With those who are not fighting you or opposing Islam, you should maintain a cordial relationship and above all, be just with them. Allah (swt) loves those who deal with the disbelievers (who are not your enemies) honorably and justly.

How do we recognize Al-Muqsiteen?

  • They work to establish the truth, and direct others to do the same.
  • They forbid evil and enjoin good, wherever they go.
  • They fear Allah (swt)! Even in times of distress, they guard themselves from evil and gravitate toward good.
  • They stay connected to their families, whether or not their families are Muslim.
  • If people come to them, they judge between them with justice. (They don’t take sides when friends or family members are involved).
  • They control their desires and judge using the Quran and the Sunnah as their guides.
  • When they are among people, they do not utter words that are hurtful; they do not harm or oppress others in any way.
  • They are generally nice to others. If someone is good to them, they are just. If someone talks to them amiably, they reply in the same manner; this is also justice. For example, if someone helps, they make Dua for him or her in return.

Is there a reward for being just?

Definitely! We know from the verses mentioned above that Allah loves those who are just.

It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Those who are just and fair will be with Allah, Most High, on thrones of light, at the right hand of the Most Merciful, those who are just in their rulings and in their dealings with their families and those of whom they are in charge.” Muhammad (one of the narrators) said in his Hadeeth: “And both of His hands are right hands.” (an-Nasai)

Tafseer Surah Luqman (Part 3): The Rights of Allah and the Right of the Parents


Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Shaheera Vakani (Jeddah)

وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ

And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.

وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ

“And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him…”

Allah is telling us what Luqman said to his son while advising him. Those who are wise teach their wisdom first to their children. The closest to you are those who should be advised first. Your children are a perpetual charity and if you raise them with the right manners and creed, your deeds continue to increase.

The most important lesson we learn from Luqman’s manner of speaking to his child in this verse is his gentleness: he does not scorn his son; rather, he begins by using an endearing name showing love and affection. Raising children is an act that should be done for the sake of Allah.

How did Luqman preach to his son?

He spoke casually and did not underestimate him just because he is his son. The word used here is “وعظ” which is to advise with the prohibitions and commandments of Allah. It includes warning and encouragement. We should tell them that these actions bring the pleasure of Allah and these actions bring on the wrath of Allah. A lot of times we just give ambiguous commands and make up rewards and warnings. We should instead give rationale based on the Quran and Sunnah and not invent new things.

What was his first advice?

يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ

“O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah.

This is the first and foremost advice that Luqman gave to his son. His first advice pertains to tawheed. The most important lesson we learn from Luqman’s manner of speaking to his child in this verse is his gentleness: he does not scorn his son; rather, he begins by using an endearing name showing love and affection. Raising children is an act that should be done for the sake of Allah.

What is the reasoning behind this warning?

إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ

Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.

This is the warning that follows the advice. He tells his son that Shirk is great injustice; and injustice is putting something in the wrong place. Shirk is injustice and imbalance while Tawheed is justice and balance. It is the most severe injustice and it is the only sin which Allah will never forgive. This injustice, however, does not harm Allah. It is the slave that harms himself and puts himself in danger of the punishment of Allah.

What is Shirk anyway?

Shirk is to associate partners with Allah in:

  1. His Lordship- to believe that there is someone besides Allah who creates, sustains and provides.
  2. His worship- to worship others besides Allah; and directing acts of worship such as supplication, vows, sacrifice, hope, fear, trust and all other acts done to seek nearness
  3. His Names and Attributes: to elevate someone’s status to the level of Allah’s perfect Names and Attributes

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years; give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.

What was his second advice?

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.

The second advice pertains to being dutiful to parents. The wording of this verse tells us that it is Allah who is giving this advice, He said “وصينا” meaning “We enjoined”. Additionally, the advice that comes from Allah is called “وصية” which is a will, or a covenant. It is a command from Allah that makes it obligatory upon us to obey and be kind towards our parents.

This advice is not directed to Muslims only, it is directed to all of humanity, whether believer or disbeliever. This relationship can never be changed or cut off.

حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ

His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship,

He specifically mentions the mother because of the pain she suffers in bearing children, raising them and taking care of them. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness; from the time of conception to labor, she becomes weaker by day. She is elevated in ranks as a result of this hardship.

Allah orders us to thank our parents. This does not mean to just verbalize a few sweet words; rather, gratitude should be expressed through actions.

وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ

and his weaning is in two years

And his nursing is for two years; there was hardship at conception and birth, and now there is hardship in raising the child. She suffers exhaustion upon exhaustion in bringing the child up. He constantly needs to be with the mother because he needs to be fed. Allah plants mercy in the heart of the mother and she is able to tolerate this work.

أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ

Therefore, give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.

Allah commands us to be grateful and thankful towards Him since He is the One who is laying down all of these rights and rules and sowing mercy in people’s hearts.

How do we thank Allah?

  1. To worship Him in the way He loves
  2. Fulfilling the rights He has enjoined upon us
  3. To use His blessings to obey Him

Allah orders us to thank our parents. This does not mean to just verbalize a few sweet words; rather, gratitude should be expressed through actions.

The final return is to Allah; He is our destination. He will then hold us accountable for these deeds.

Etiquettes of Answering the Call of Nature

  1. Avoid spoiling water that is beneficial to people, such as springs and wells.
  2. Avoid spoiling the streets and pathways that people walk on and pass through.
  3. Avoid spoiling the shade under the trees that people might relax under and enjoy.
  4. Avoid urinating in stagnant water like a pond or fountain.
  5. It is not allowed to enter into the bathroom with anything that mentions Allah’s name
  6. It is not allowed to speak in the bathroom.
  7. While defecating or urinating, the person should not face the Qiblah nor should he give the Qiblah his back.
  8. When entering the bathroom, say “بسم الله اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الخبث و الخبائث”“Bismillah, O Allah I seek refuge with You from the devils, male and female.”This creates a barrier between the person and the Shaytan.
  9. To enter the bathroom with the left foot and exiting with the right
  10. When exiting the bathroom, say “غفرانك” “(I seek) Your forgiveness” when exiting the bathroom.
  11. To place a barrier between himself and the people in order not to be exposed
  12. To use the left hand to clean after answering the call of nature
  13. To use the two methods of cleansing; Istinjaa (using water to cleanse yourself) and then Istijmaar (using tissues to cleanse yourself).

Most Beloved People to Allah – The Muhsinoon

Beloved People

“…indeed, Allah loves the doers of good (the Muhsinoon).” (Al-Baqarah 2:195)

Who are the Muhsinoon?

  1. They spend in the cause of Allah (swt).
  2. They refrain from harming themselves on purpose.
  3. They engage in Ihsan (excellence) at all levels.

The third point is the key here – they engage in Ihsan. Now what is Ihsan exactly?

  1. It is the purest of faith.
  2. It is the soul of the faith
  3. It indicates completion of faith.

Why is Ihsan so important that it actually indicates completion of faith?

The reason is when you inculcate Ihsan, you achieve excellence in all your good deeds. This is because you perform every action as though you are seeing Allah (swt) Himself. You end up doing your best ALL the time because you are Allah-conscious. At the same time, you are also aware that Allah (swt) is watching you. Once this feeling is firm in your heart, you will be able to conquer such negative habits as anger.

Such a person has the following characteristics:

  1. S/he is very cautious about oneself.
  2. S/he is never heedless.
  3. S/he analyzes one’s actions very closely – there is a commendable level of accountability.
  4. S/he engages in every good deed with excellence.

Characteristics of Muhsineen mentioned in the Quran:

The characteristics of the Muhsineen, as defined in the Quran, are as follows:

  1. They are Muslims.
  2. They believe in the five pillars of Islam and the articles of faith.
  3. They submit to Allah’s (swt) commands without questioning them. They only seek His love and His pleasure.
  4. They abstain from whatever Allah (swt) has forbidden. If they unintentionally do anything prohibited, they discard it as soon as they find out it is not allowed, Islamically.
  5. They perform acts of worship with excellence. Their hearts are free of riya (hidden shirk) or any intention of showing off.
  6. They are just. Whether in relationships, or when judging between people, they strive to be just.
  7. They measure their words carefully and speak only what is best. They don’t even come near to any of the tongue terrors.
  8. They give their wealth in charity for the sake of Allah (swt), regardless of their own circumstances (healthy, wealthy, poor, in distress or in good times). Money is not very important to them.
  9. They never complain to Allah (swt) and implore to Him: Why me? In all circumstances, they accept the Divine will and predestination. They think good of Allah (swt) at all times.
  10. They perform good deeds for Allah’s sake, not so people would call them perfectionists.
  11. They do get angry if someone or something irks them. However, they try to suppress it and do not react. Their anger is never apparent on the outside.
  12. They pardon and forgive people for their shortcomings.

Are you wondering if ANYONE can ever fit the above-mentioned qualities? Remember Prophet Yusuf (as). He forgave his brothers and did not punish them in kind for what they had done to him. Similarly, remember Prophet Muhammad (sa), the best of the Muhsineen.

Allah’s reward for the Muhsineen

Allah’s (swt) greatest reward for them is His Love for them. Imagine how the person will be if Allah (swt) loves him/her! S/he has obtained the Love of Allah (swt), who is the Master, the Owner, the King of all kings, the Bestower, the Most Merciful, the Forgiver, the Most Rich, the Forbearer, the Nurturer, and the Disposer of affairs!

“Indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of the doers of good.” (At-Taubah 9:120)

Surah Hujurat in Our Lives (Part 1)

Overview, Verses 1-8:

This Surah was revealed to the best generation of Muslims. Imagine the Sahabah – they were the best of the people with a high level of faith. Yet this Surah was revealed obligating a change in their behaviour. Their hearts were inclined towards Allah (swt) with a high level of faith and certainty. However, they still harboured negative feelings towards each other. Jealousy, malice, hatred, and backbiting were still present. These issues in the society needed to be reformed. A way of living was needed now – which was sent by Allah (swt).


The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (sa) were focused to reform the Sahabah’s hearts. But now Allah was reforming their جهنم = ways. You can figure out the جهنم of an organization, school, university or organization from their students/employees – The way they interact with each other, The way they behave, their discipline, interaction, empathy towards others.

Surah Hujurat talks more about Taqwa (guarding oneself from Allah’s (swt) anger) and building faith. It also offers lessons of leadership in this Surah. Each person is a leader (at home also). The Sahabah did not lead the world/people by their sword or money – they led by their manners. Islam spread to Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries through Muslim traders. Amazingly, they did not know the local languages but were still able to spread Islam through their manners and behaviours.

Verse 1

“O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Al-Hujurat 49:1)

This is a gentle address from Allah (swt) to the believers. If a person is a believer – انعطا و انعمس .Whatever Allah says (commands) and the person submits and obeys then he is a Muslim. Someone doing contrary (not submitting and obeying) indicates a low faith. Don’t – ةيهانلا لا forward or precede “Between the hand” = a phrase that means don’t put before or put forward – it doesn’t literally mean between two hands.

What did Allah (swt) forbid the believers? Don’t put anyone or anything before Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa). Before Allah (swt) mentions how to reform our manners with the people, He mentions how our manners with Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) should be like. That’s the most important manner we need to have. The other conditions follow in a proper sequence.

We the verses of the Quran personally – each verse is for each person. Don’t follow the saying, “Please don’t take it personally.” Sometimes, we say this to people when stating something general. However, our behavior with the Quran has to be the opposite! We have to take each verse personally as if Allah is directly addressing each one of us, in order to reform us and to make us better in life and worthy of Paradise.


Nothing, nothing, nothing comes before Allah (swt) and his Messenger (saw)!

Sometimes people ask for opinions in Islam. That’s not acceptable. We cannot question or ask for opinions or comments on the rules and commands of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa).We cannot have conferences or discussions regarding doctrines of Islam. Some people debate on topics of Islam, like mix gathering, and then say: Ok, Allah (swt) said this and the Messenger (sa) said this: What’s your opinion? That is not acceptable! This means we need to go behind and follow Prophet Muhammad (sa) very closely. A believer’s sole goal is to attain the pleasure of Allah (swt) and tread المستقيم صراط


We need to be conscious of Allah (swt) (ىوقت) in the following circumstances in life: While doing obligations and while abstaining from sins. Worship without love of Allah (swt) is just an exercise or duty; the heart remains detached from it. Worship should be out of love for Allah (swt) hoping for reward from Allah (swt) and fearing Allah’s (swt) punishment.


We must remember that this Surah was revealed to people who had a very high level of faith still the Shaitan could affect them. He could incite them to believe that they had a lot of knowledge, thus making them arrogant and proud like Iblees himself. Firmness or staying steadfast upon guidance is more difficult than the guidance itself! After having guidance, if you elevate yourself, and make yourself high and proud – that’s a disaster! When you know Allah (swt) is the All-Hearer, you will not put anyone before Allah. You know Allah hears everything. All-Knower: Allah (swt) also knows everything in your heart, even when you are saying something and meaning something different. This means your inside and your outside both have to be the same!

We cannot pinpoint anyone. “I know she is saying something but in her heart is something else.” This is only for Allah (swt). Only He is the All-Knower – not any human! No one can deceive Allah (swt). Consider the impact of both these names together

“I will focus on what I say and what is in my heart at the same time.”

“And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal or conceal it in yourself, Allah knows that you will remember them…” (Al-Baqarah, 2:35)

“O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he () calls you to that which will give you life, and know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e. He prevents an evil person to decide anything). And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered.” (Al-Anfal, 8:24)

You need to respond to Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) whatever they invite you/command you to do. It will make you alive! If you put anyone else’s words in front of you – they will not give you life! Opposite of life is death or destruction. You need to know that Allah (swt) will stand between you and your heart. You need to be careful. Allah (swt) standing between you and your heart means that you don’t/won’t even have control over your heart!

This Surah, will help us do the makeover that comes from the inside, and also shows on the outside, through our actions

Adapted from a workshop conducted by sister Eman of Al-Huda Sisters, Dubai.

Dazzling Dubai

DubaiDubai is the home of sand, sun, and shopping. There are two sides of Dubai to explore – the sleek, futuristic world of mirrored skylines, chilled-air malls, and James Bond-style artificial islands; and old Dubai, perhaps most clearly represented by its ancient mosques and countless Souks, all of which sell a different specialty.


Even picky eaters will have to surrender to the variety offered in terms of dining, which ranges from economical fast food joints to posh clubs and restaurants. Besides trying the Italian, Mexican, or Chinese, do not forget the delicious Arabic cuisine. Shawarma, a pita bread roll with chunks of chicken or meat and savory sauces, is a delight. French fries served not on a plate but on a burger along with chicken patties!

Automatic Lebanese Restaurant can offer Hummus and Mutabbal, two great dips to go with pitta bread and sourly pickle. Sheesh taook and Kebab are also recommended.

For South Indian food lovers there are plenty of Masala Dosa inns, “India House” being one. “Bombay Chowpati” is for Chat lovers. Pakistani restaurants are famous for their Nihari and chicken Biryani. Trendy cafes, such as “French Connection,” are everywhere for a light bite.

Sight Seeing:

Walking Tours

Dubai is a sprawling city and, combined with the heat, can be difficult to walk around. There are no official guided or signposted tours. A number of companies offer half-day city tours.

Other Tours

“Coastline Leisure” operates one-hour guided tours of Dubai Creek by dhow. “Arabian Adventures,” also offers a choice of cruises on Dubai Creek. Alternatively, go down to Dubai Creek and charter a traditional Abra (water taxi).

Dune Bashing

Regular tours are run and can combine dune bashing with desert dinners in recreated Bedouin camps.

Camel Rides

A ‘Rides and Slides’ tour combining camel rides with sand skiing is also offered.


The lush green stretching for miles can be a very serene outing. Parks can entertain you with beautiful landscapes, swings for kids, boat ride adventures, barbeque grills for family cuisines, and even cable cars for having a panoramic view of the city. Some of the most famous names are Safa Park and Creek Park.

Water Sports:

“The Wild Wadi” water park is just the place for aqua lovers. The tall and swirling water slides are part of a big investment in tourism. Apart from that, scuba diving and wind surfing in the azure waters of gulf are also a treat.

Museums and Other Edifice:

Dubai National Museum

Built in 1787 as a fort for sea defense and located in Al-Fahidi Fort, it is one of the most ancient buildings in Dubai. The Museum displays pottery, stone and metal items, stone engravings, and skeletons. Here the visitors can browse through a collection of old maps of the Gulf and the Emirates. A model of a wind-tower room is an interesting feature of the architecture section.

Sheikh Saeed’s House
It is on the Shindagha end of Dubai Creek. A rare collection of historic photographs, coins, stamps, and documents can be seen here.

The Bastakiya
The largest concentration of traditional courtyard houses in Dubai, located in a short walk distance from Al-Fahidi Fort. The old district of Bastakiya provides a hint of the old Dubai, with its narrow lanes and tall wind towers.

Bur Dubai Creek Side
The buildings lining the Bur Dubai side of the creek provide the main panorama of the old city. The traditional facades of these buildings have been restored to their original state, with wooden windows, decorative gypsum panels, and screens.

Archaeological Sites

There are four main excavation sites in Dubai: Al-Qusais, Al-Sufooh, Jumeirah, and Hatta. The Jumeirah site reveals artifacts from the 7th to 15th centuries AD.

Burj Al-Arab

This is a sail-shaped edifice as tall as the Eiffel Tower. The hotel has become Dubai’s striking trademark and a wonder to see. The Burj (meaning ‘tower’ in Arabic) is not everybody’s idea of a place to stay on a holiday budget, as rooms start at USD 1361/- per night!


Being an open port with low import duties and no taxation, the city offers the bargain hunter unbeatable value. Dubai’s major shopping areas include: City center, Burj Uman center, Marcato, Al-Rigga Road, Karama, Al-Dhiyafa Road, and Bani Yas Square, not forgetting the Dubai Duty Free complex at the airport.

Value buys can be made at discount stores located all over the city. They offer items worth from Dhs 2/- up to Dhs 20/-. This is especially meaningful for souvenirs, gifts, and other nick knacks.

Carpets: Numerous shops specialize in carpets, with countries of origin ranging from Iran, Pakistan, and Central Asia to China. “Deira Tower Shopping Mall” in Al-Nasr Square has the largest number of carpet outlets under one roof.

Clothes: There are many boutiques and designer label shops for men, women, and children. Each shopping mall offers a mixture of expensive and cheaper clothes.

Electronics: Prices of electronic goods in Dubai are generally lower than anywhere else in the world.

Gold and Jewellery: Dubai’s Gold Souk is world famous for its low prices and sheer variety on offer. Those who bargain hardest get the best price.

Perfumes: Just about every perfume in the world is available in Dubai.


Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai must be the world leader, when it comes to organizing events, especially, when the Dubai Shopping Festival is concerned. 300 Hotels and 130 apartments also participate with special offers during this period. “Emirates” and most other airlines flying out of Dubai offer discounted airfares and much needed excess baggage allowances, during the festival. Events for children, street side performances, nightly fireworks, etc., reflect the emirate’s cosmopolitan character.

Hotels: “Sheraton,” “Sofitel,” and “Best Western.”