United Arab Emirates, Asia, Middle East, Arabia, East, UAE, Dubai town, city, Jumeirah mosque, building, construction,
Raga Jose Fuste/© Raga Jose Fuste
The largest mosque in Dubai and the only one open to non-Muslims, the Jumeirah Mosque dominates the upscale beach area. The cream-colored sandstone structure with two slim minarets holds some 1,200 faithful. Though it looks historic, the mosque only dates as far back as the late 1970s. An hour-long guided tour takes visitors through the pale-yellow-and-azure interior. As you admire the magnificent ceiling decorations, you’ll also get a nice break from the city heat and noise.
Islam on the Inside of the Mosque
A culturally enriching experience in Dubai is a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque. Many mosques do not allow non-Muslims to walk inside. This particular mosque has dedicated several times during the week for people to visit and learn about Islam and how it is represented in the Arab world and beyond. Two Muslim women, one European who converted to Islam, spoke in English to the crowd of mostly tourists and explained a bit of the religion, the culture, and the common practices within the mosque. The cost is 10 AED (less than $3 USD) and infinitely rewarding if you are interested in understanding the religion and how it fits into modern Arab society and around the world. Women are expected to wear a headscarf and everyone should dress respectfully conservative. I found this crowd of tourist women to be the most colorfully-covered group in the region; with scarves that were likely sourced from all over the world - and not the traditional black abaya that most Emirati women wear.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Islam but were afraid to ask.
For the last decade, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding has been sponsoring its, ‘Open Doors, Open Minds’ program by encouraging foreign visitors to come to the intricately detailed mosque in Jumeriah to have all of their gnawing questions answered about the fastest growing religion in the world – Islam. Doors and minds open at 10am everyday except Friday (reserved for communal prayer). Pictures, video and questions are highly encouraged; modest clothing is preferred but if coming straight from nearby Russian Beach, Islamic dress is available and fun for pretending you’re an Emir or an Arabian Princess.
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