Jumeirah Mosque Tour, Dubai

“Make us as famous as you can,” Latifa says in a broad English accent after welcoming us inside Dubai’s Jumeirah Mosque.

Her statement is a response to a question on everyone’s mind who has an eager finger on a camera shutter. Photography is indeed permitted and encouraged inside the mosque.

It is a Sunday morning and inside the masjid, a group is gathered for a tour of Dubai’s only mosque that accepts non Muslim visitors. The tour is an initiative by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding with the aim to promote cultural understanding and offer an insight into the Islamic religion.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

Like other women, I have removed my shoes before entering this place of worship and covered my head with a long black scarf. Although I have travelled to the Middle East before, this is my first time inside a mosque.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

The Jumeirah Mosque was built in 1976 in a style that is prevalent in Syria. It can hold up to 1300 people and is often packed on Fridays which is the holy day for Islam.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

Latifa, our hostess, is originally from the UK and has converted to Islam and is now living in Dubai. She takes us on a cultural and religious journey, encouraging interaction and questions.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

Her style is informative even entertaining in parts. She answers all our questions, addresses any concerns, even discusses topics that can be deemed sensitive. Her openness and candour are welcomed by the captive audience.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

She introduces us to the five pillars of Islam.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

1.  Shahada – Faith: This is the declaration of faith, ‘there is no god except God’ or la ilaha illa Llah.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

2. Salat or Salah – Prayers are performed 5 times a day, before sun rise, around noon, between 3.00 and 3.30 pm, at sunset and early in the evening around 7.30 pm – 8.00 pm.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

3.  Zakat or Zakah: Charity, which involves a yearly payment of 2.5% of one’s capital to the less fortunate.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

4. Sawm: Fasting, which occurs once a year from first light until sundown during the month of Ramadan.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

5. Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca. It is said that Muslims should participate in the Hajj at least once in a lifetime but they can’t borrow money to visit the holy site in Saudi Arabia.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

Islam follows the Lunar calendar which varies with the seasons which makes the holy month of Ramadan and the feasts of Eid El Fitr (at the end of Ramadan) and Eid Al Adha (festival of sacrifice) vary from year to year.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

Latifa also explains about the clothing we have all seen in Dubai where the men wear white and the women dress in black Abayas. She tells us that it is a cultural look and a personal choice that is adapted by the Emiratis.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

She demonstrates the use of this Bedouin mask and explains how it is used in the desert to shield the mouth from sand. Its blue purple die is also useful in reflecting the sun’s rays and providing protection.

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An electronic version of the Koran.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

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At the end of the tour, we are given plenty of time to take photographs, ask questions in small groups

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

and pose for photographs like these girls who were given black abayas to wear over their short skirts.

Jumeirah Mosque Dubai

As much as Dubai offers gigantic shopping malls, soaring architecture with 7 star luxury hotels, fun desert safari tours and glitz reminiscent of Las Vegas, this is a tour that is well worth the time regardless of any beliefs, spiritual, religious or otherwise. It does not preach nor is it aimed to convert but merely offers an insight into the religion and culture of the host country. Go with an open mind and embrace the experience and architecture.

Jumeirah Mosque Tour Visitor Information

  • Tours are usually run at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday then on Sunday and Thursday from mid-September. Best to confirm with your hotel.
  • Getting there by taxi is the easiest way. Taxis are fairly inexpensive and can be hailed everywhere.
  • There is no need to book for the tour. Just assemble at the front of the mosque.
  • Women need to be covered, eg, long skirts or trousers, long sleeves and a scarf to cover the head.
  • Men should wear trousers and shirts. T-shirts are acceptable but not singlets.
  • If you’re not suitably attired, you’ll be given a scarf or a black Abaya to wear during the visit.
  • You need to take off your shoes before entering the mosque.
  • Entry is 10DH at the door.
  • The visit  lasts for approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Photography and video are allowed and you have ample time at the end to take photographs.
  • Jumeirah Mosque tours are run by by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

Visiting Dubai? Don’t miss our Top 10 Things in To in Dubai.

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Jumeirah Mosque Tour, Dubai was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

12 Comments:

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  2. Wonderful post, Gourmantic. I would love to experience a mosque and see what it is like. I am so glad that you got this experience. Did your opinions of Islam change at all after visiting the mosque?

    • Thanks Akila :) In order to answer your question, I’ll put it into context. I am a little familiar with Islam and have friends of various faiths. For me, the visit provided a little more information and insights about the beliefs which share commonalities with Christianity and Judaism and the rituals of prayers. I didn’t approach the visit with a ‘western mindset’, if that makes sense, but with a natural curiosity and the desire to learn more.

      What I found most fascinating about the tour (apart from being inside a mosque for the first time!) were the cultural aspects such as the traditional dress, the loose clothing to combat the heat, and the research that showed that the black cloth worn by women was cooler than the white worn by men. There was a lot more information and interaction with the group but there’s only so much one can write in one article!

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  4. Great post! I remember seeing this mosque from a distance when I was in Dubai but did not have a chance to go inside. I like the interior baby blue and salmon colors. Very nice pics!

    • Thank you. The bright colours are what caught my eye as soon as I entered the mosque. Such serenity in the blue…

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  8. these pictures are beautiful and would like to share them via e mail to my friends. Pl. let me know how I can do that.

    Thanks.

    Jaya Shah.

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