If you've ever wondered what a mosque looks like from the inside, take some time out of your holiday plans and visit the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque, which is the only mosque in Dubai open to non-muslim visitors. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding organise and promote these tours and its main goal is to bring awareness to the wider public on the relgious practices of Islam, the culture of the UAE people and knowledge of arabian architecture in an informal, lively and fun way. Any questions will be answered and you will go away feeling relaxed and informed.
Visitors who have been to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi or any one of the older mosques in the middle east may be a tad disappointed with the Jumeirah Mosque as its not on a similar size or grandeur scale, however it is definitely a must see landmark for anyone not been to a mosque or who is fed up with the daily visits to the malls or beach.
Jumeirah mosque is a dominant landmark of the area which was built as a tribute to contemporary Islamic architecture. Just taking a stroll around this mosque is enough to captivate your senses because the mosque is simply elegant.
A mosque is a place of prostration which is visited by men only and the women perform their prayers by themselves at home. Friday is considered to be the holy day of the Islamic week and hence every Friday all the adult Muslim men are required to go to the mosque for prayer. A lot of Muslims visit the Jumeirah mosque on Fridays to offer their prayers.
The architecture within the mosque is as beautiful as the architecture on the exterior of the mosque on. Inside the Jumeirah mosque there is the Qibla wall, which faces towards the direction of Mecca and all the Muslims are required to face the wall while praying. The holiest place in this mosque is Mihrab, which is a prayer niche located right in the centre of the Qibla wall. This indicates the exact praying direction. Minbar is a raised platform in the Jumeirah mosque which is located towards the right hand side of the Mihrab. Here the ‘imam’ or the leader of the prayer delivers the Friday sermon, also known as the ‘khutba’ which covers various social, political and religious subjects. You will not be able to find a single picture of living beings other than plants inside the mosque because the Islamic religion forbids the practice of taking pictures of living things. The interior of this beautiful mosque is richly decorated with Arabic calligraphy and rich ornamental patterns and it is indeed a feast for the eyes.
Points of note
Dress conservatively. Ladies should wear either light trousers or a skirt with atleast knee length or longer. Tops should be atleast short sleeved. No vest tops. Bring a shawl incase. There is traditional dress to borrow which is the abaya (long black overdress) and the shela which is used to cover the hair. Men should wear trousers/ jeans no shorts.
If you want to take a Jumeirah mosque tour then be sure to be present outside the mosque on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday at 10 am. This is the meeting point for the tour organized by the famous non-profit seeking organization of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
Your guide may explain the ritual of 'wudu' which is the ritual cleansing before entering the Jumeirah mosque. You may wish to partake in this. If so, follow the instructions of your guide. According to the ‘wudu’ one should start off by washing the right and left hand three times, then wash the mouth three times, then the face three times too and then wash the right and left hand arms three times. This is followed by the washing of the head, ears and the right and left foot all of which are washed three times.
When – Tours are run every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10am sharp. Assemble outside the mosque entrance next to The One furniture shop at 9.45am. How long – The tours last about 75 minutes. If you are planning to have the Cultural lunch or the Cultural breakfast organized by the same organization then it would take longer. Location – The Jumeirah mosque is located along the beach road or the Jumeirah Road. You should not have any problem finding it because it is a very famous mosque in Dubai and most taxi drivers will drop you off at the mosque. Cost – It costs Dhs. 10 per person for the Jumeirah Mosque tour. Children under 12 are free. Children under 5 are permitted to accompany parents on tour as long as they are well behaved. If the child feels uncomfortable, their is a room next to main prayer hall with toys, but a parent must accompany the child.
Booking – Booking isn’t required for a Jumeirah mosque tour organized by Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Simply show up at the meeting point at the right time and be prepared to have a wonderful experience. More info – If you need more information or if you have any queries then you can log on to the official website of Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, i.e. http://www.cultures.ae or call them in this number: +97143536666