Islamic Centre’s Grand Friday Mosque
Few people think of history or architecture when it comes to the Maldives
, what with the pristine beaches and luxurious overwater bungalows typically getting all the glory. So it might come as a surprise that Male’s crown jewel is the Islamic Centre’s Grand Friday Mosque, an impressive whitewashed building marked with a sweeping staircase and a gleaming golden dome. This place of worship can host about 5,000 people, though it's worth noting that non-Muslim tourists can only explore the interior outside of prayer times, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A dress code is also strictly enforced, with men required to wear long pants and women a long skirt or dress. It’s worth stopping by the nearby Hukuru Miskiy (Friday Mosque), the city’s main place of prayer prior to the construction of the Grand Friday Mosque.