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Explore Dubai: A Virtual and Accessible Tour



This week we are heading to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore Dubai, the widely visited metropolis of the Middle East. Known for its luxury shopping, hotels, and entertainment centers, Dubai continues to entice visitors from all over the world. To learn more about the city, keep on reading!

We are trying to make sure the content we suggest is accessible in different ways. Although it can be difficult to find websites that are fully accessible, we review many to offer you the ones that are the most accessible. As always, if you find barriers or have suggestions please reach out to us at info@bluetrunk.org and let us know so that we can improve!

Visit the Museums and Sites

Probably the most well known landmark of Dubai is the Burj Khalifa, also known as the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa was inaugurated in 2010, and was met with a host of tourists and residents who wanted to experience its gorgeous views for themselves. For more information on this incredible feat of architecture, watch the video with auto-generated captions at the link here and read the blog at the link here.

Another fascinating spot in Dubai is the Dubai Gold Souk, a marketplace for gold, silver, diamonds, and other precious stones. Now over a hundred years old, the souk is a traditional part of Dubai’s shopping scene, with some shops still selling goods after four decades in the business. To experience the Dubai Gold Souk for yourself, read the blog at the link here and watch the video with auto-generated captions at the link here.

The Museum of the Future is a great example of Dubai’s ultramodern style and its continued aim towards achieving technological progress. Outside, the building is shaped like an impossible oval that is hollow in the middle. Inside, the museum is home to gravity defying machines, interactive exhibitions, and more. To explore the future, read the blog at the link here or watch the video at the link here. The video comes with auto-generated captions.

For both Muslims and tourists in Dubai, the Jumeirah Mosque is a must-see. Built in 1979, the mosque’s beautiful craftsmanship and illustrious interior design has led it to become one of the most photographed mosques in Dubai. For more information about the Jumeirah Mosque, read the blog at the link here and watch the video with auto-generated captions at the link here.

To explore Dubai’s past life, look no further than the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. The neighborhood dates back to the mid-19th century, and serves as a place to immerse yourself in the traditional architecture, cultural activities, museums, and food of Dubai. To learn more about Al Fahidi, watch the video with auto-generated captions at the link here and read the blog at the link here.

Located in the heart of Dubai, the Dubai Opera stands as a center for the arts by hosting ballets, theater performances, concerts, and of course, operas. With dazzling decorations and an ability to transform into a concert hall, theater, and event space, the Dubai Opera is definitely a wonder to behold. For a closer look at the opera space, watch the video at the link here and read the blog at the link here. The video comes with auto-generated captions.

Tune in to Shows and Movies About Dubai and the UAE

Though Dubai’s and the UAE’s presence in the media sphere is relatively new, it is still widely featured in films and TV shows. Accessible films and TV shows on Dubai specifically were difficult to find, so we turned our attention more broadly to the UAE for accessible content.

Weaving together numerous storylines, “Syriana” portrays a tense political drama against the backdrop of the Middle Eastern oil industry. The film follows a lawyer advising a dubious merger, an energy analyst who experiences harrowing tragedy, a veteran CIA agent who uncovers an assassination plot, and so much more. The film is available for rent on Apple TV at the link here, and includes closed captions.

“Dubai” is a romance film that follows two brothers on their quest to migrate to Canada after their parents pass away. However, when a beautiful woman gets thrown into the mix, a rivalry between siblings emerges and their bond may be severed. The film is available for rent on Amazon at the link here, and includes closed captions.

A documentary piece on Dubai and its massive growth in the last few decades, “Dubai: The Middle East Metropolis that never sleeps” tells the story of the city as it really is. From abra driver Mubashir Malik to the Lebanon island manager Jeremy Sabaneer, the tales of Dubai residents create an image of a city that is a melting pot of workers and is always on the move. To watch the film, use the link here, and the video comes with auto-generated captions.

“The Platform” is a tech thriller series that focuses on the programmer genius Karam and his accuracy-finding program “the platform”. However, all is not well with Karam. While he finds international success with “the platform”, he must also manage familial issues and investigate the cause of personal tragedy. The series is available on Crackle at the link here, and has subtitles.

For a family oriented show that is just so cute, tune into “Emara”. The series follows Emara, a young Emirati girl with a special power that she uses to fight crime across the Emirates. The series can be found at the link here, and includes auto-generated captions.

Get Lost in Books About Dubai and the UAE

Dubai and the UAE serve as widely used backgrounds for many books. However, it was difficult to find accessible books on Dubai specifically, so we turned our attention more broadly to the UAE.

Starting off with a powerful thriller, “Layover in Dubai” by Dan Fesperman brings visiting auditor Sam Keller and an undignified detective Anwar Sharaf together as they are forced to solve the murder of Sam’s colleague. The unlikely duo must work through the corruption and dark forces that are threatening Dubai from within, while also adjusting to the changes of a rapidly progressing city. To read the book, use the link here, and the book has a Kindle and audiobook version.

“City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism” by Jim Krane reports on the history of Dubai, from its state as a poor village in the 1960s to its state as an economically sound metropolis. Though Dubai is currently experiencing unprecedented economic and social growth, its dream of capitalism –– as Krane puts it –– has had some really detrimental effects, such as pollution. To read the book, click on the link here, and the book has a Kindle and audiobook version.

Deepak Unnikrishnan delves into the realities of the working class in his debut novel “Temporary People”. Tying in 28 different stories together, the book works to display the difficulties of “guest workers” in Dubai, whose efforts are often rewarded with minimal pay, miserable working conditions, and a ticket back out of the UAE. To read this eye-opening book, use the link here, and the book has a Kindle version.

“The Sand Fish: A Novel from Dubai” is Maha Gargash’s take on Middle Eastern culture in the 1950s. Set in what would eventually become the UAE, the book tells a story of a rebellious woman who wants to break free from a society she feels is repressive. The book can be found at the link here, and it has a Kindle version.

“Alif the Unseen” by G. Willow Wilson is a creative story that follows a young Arab-Indian hacker that goes by the name Alif and his attempts to protect his clients from surveillance of the state. When his plans go awry and the people he swore to protect are at risk, Alif must struggle for life or death and hopefully come out on the other side unscathed. To read this book, click on the link here, and the book has a Kindle and audiobook version.

Bring Dubai and the UAE to Your Kitchen

While Dubai is most known for its luxury shopping and excursions, the city also has some delicious dishes that are enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. Here are a few vegan and gluten free recipes that will give you a little taste of the Middle East.

For a light and refreshing side or lunch option, look no further than a chickpea salad. Full of nutrients and needed veggies, the recipe at the link here is sure to provide you with an easy to make meal that will satisfy.

Another tasty chickpea recipe is the chickpea shawarma recipe at the link here, which serves as a replacement for the chicken shawarma, a popular dish in the UAE. This recipe has an earthy flavor from the chickpeas and is balanced with aromatic spices. Be sure to try!

As for dessert, baklava should do the trick. A flaky, syrupy dessert that is so simple to make, this sweet treat will have you savoring every bite. For a vegan, gluten free recipe, click on the link here and enjoy!

Where to Next?


Thanks for wandering Dubai with us virtually. Join us next time as we explore Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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