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Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai - Guide for Tourists


Page update - Sep 25, 2022

The Jumeirah Mosque is not the largest in Dubai and not the most important, but it is considered the most beautiful in the emirate and is depicted on the UAE Dirham 500 banknote. It is the only mosque in Dubai that is open for non-Muslims.

Due to the two slim and beautiful minarets, it is also called "The Two Minarets Mosque". With a capacity of up to 1,200 worshipers it was built from 1976 to 1978 by Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, the father of the current Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. You can read about them in our review "Sheikhs of the Arab Emirates".

Jumeirah Mosque guided tours are running again (re-started December 1, 2020). Registration begins at 9:30 on all days except Friday. Tours at 2pm are running too (re-started September 4, 2021). The price of the tour has gone up. Read all the details below on this page.

We made the inquiry to the Cultural Center at the mosque to find out the current terms (September 2022). A pre-tour buffet works now. Dress code clothing is provided to tourists. However, we strongly recommend you to come already in your own modest clothing.

Where it locates and how to get there

The mosque is located on the eastern edge of Jumeirah Public Beach (Jumeirah district), near Dubai Zoo (now closed forever). If you come to the beach area, you can easily find the mosque - the high minarets are visible from afar.

The best way to get there is by cab. Dubai is a big city, a cab from the hotel to the Jumeirah Mosque can cost from 12 to 80 dirhams, depending on how far your hotel is. See our "Taxis in the UAE" page for the fares. Find the current exchange rates on our "UAE Dirham" page.

Getting there by public transport is a problem, because there is no metro station nearby. You have to take a bus from one of the metro stations.

The best option is to ride to Gold Souk metro station (until May 2020 was called Palm Deira), then take bus 8. This route has the first stop at Gold Souq, you will not get the wrong direction. The trip takes about 25 minutes. Get off at the Grand Masjid Jumeirah stop.

You can ride to Max Fashion station (until August 2021 was called Al Jafiliya) and take bus X28. But it is rather difficult for tourists to get oriented at this station because you need to know which bus direction to choose.

For the subway map, please visit our "Dubai Metro" page. You can take the bus for free, if you will get in it within 30 minutes after leaving the subway. We wrote about this feature on our page "NOL Cards".

Price of admission

Muslim for prayings - always free of charge.

For non-Muslims there are guided tours at a price of 35 dirhams per person (in 2020 it was 25), children under 12 years old take part free of charge.



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Operation hours

For Muslims, admission is during salah (prayers).

For non-Muslims guided tours are held on all days except Friday, at 10am and 2pm (10-00 and 14-00). There have been no guided tours at 2pm for a long time, but since September 4, 2021, those tours are held again.

Tours for non-Muslims

The tours are organized by the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding as part of the "Open Doors. Open Minds" campaign. Jumeirah Mosque was opened to non-Muslims after the events of September 11, 2001, to educate tourists about Islam and the culture of the Arab Emirates.

The tour lasts 75 minutes. The guide explains the basics of Islam, traditions, culture. The guide explains about the five pillars - the five honorable acts that every Muslim must keep up. Photos and videos are allowed in the mosque.

The tour is conducted in English. However, even without knowledge of English, the mosque will be interesting.

The start time of the tour is 10am (10-00) was not chosen at random. At this time there is a break between the morning (fajr) and lunch (zuhr) prayers, that is, Muslims do not pray at this time.

It is better to come to the mosque in advance. Now, because of covid-security measures, in order not to create a crowd, registration begins at 9:30am (9-30). It is better to arrive by that time.

At the registration desk, you need to pay for the tour, and you can go to the majlis, where they pour tea and coffee and treat you with Emirati dates and desserts. We highly recommend trying the lukmat, which are fried balls of dough dipped in date syrup, one of the most delicious desserts in Emirati cuisine.

You must follow the dress-code to enter the mosque. Knees and shoulders must be covered, women's heads must be covered so that hair is not visible. We talked about the dress-code in the reviews "Rules for tourists in the UAE" and "What to take to the UAE".

Before entering the prayer hall, tourists are shown the ablution ceremony mandatory for Muslims before praying in the mosque. The ritual ablution in Islam is called "wudu". Those who wish can even take part.

The ablution is not as simple as it may seem at first sight, it must be done in a certain sequence. First, the washing of the right and left palms 3 times, then the mouth 3 times, then the nose 3, then the face, then the hands, the head, the ears and finally the feet, all three times.

You need to take off your shoes before entering the prayer hall.

The prayer hall is hypostyle, which means that many marble columns hold up the dome. The walls are decorated with geometric and floral designs, Arabic calligraphy with fragments from the Koran. There is a beautiful blue carpet on the floor, on which tourists sit during the lecture. Look up to see the magnificent painting on the ceiling and the inside of the dome.

On one of the sides of the prayer hall, there is a mihrab, a niche that points in the direction of Mecca. The imam prays in a mihrab. Nearby there is a minbar, a small cathedra from which sermons are preached during Friday prayer.

A very interesting feature is that the prayer hall of the Jumeirah Mosque has windows, something rarely seen in Arab mosques.

You can ask questions to the guide at the end of the tour.



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What to see outside

Jumeirah Mosque is made from sandstone. Some websites and travel guides claim that it was inspired by the Mohammed Ali Mosque in Cairo, but this is exactly not true. The fact is that the Mohammed Ali Mosque is clearly in the Ottoman style, while the Jumeirah Mosque is in the Fatimid style. The Al-Azhar Mosque, the main masterpiece of Fatimid architecture, could rather have been the prototype.

The Fatimid style is characterized by slim forms, which can be clearly seen in the example of the Jumeirah Mosque, while the Ottoman style is characterized by wide domes and half-domes and a large number of them.

The building creates the strongest impression when viewed up close. It seems that the minarets rise into the sky and touch clouds. Pay attention to another feature - the lower part of the minarets is square in cross-section - it is one of the features of the style of mosques in North Africa, where the caliphs of the Fatimid family are from.

After visiting the mosque, you can walk around the adjacent garden and see a small exhibition in the Center of Culture and Understanding of Sheikh Mohammed.

Important tourist tips

- Tourists are recommended to come to the tour from Monday to Thursday. These are definitely not weekends, there will be a minimum of local visitors. We do NOT recommend coming on Saturday or Sunday. Be informed, Dubai and all the UAE adopted the new 4½-days working week starting 3 January, 2022. Read the details in our review "Friday and weekend in Dubai and UAE";

- If you get hungry after the tour, walk through the parking lot and on to Jumeirah Street. You will find a dozen cafes and restaurants there, including the familiar to most tourists TGI Fridays. There is the Spinneys supermarket in 300 meters (1,000 feet) from the mosque;

- The parking lot is the best local reference point. See photo near, click on photo to enlarge to full screen. Registration for the tour is on the opposite side of the mosque building from the parking lot. If you look from the angle as in the photo, beaches are to the left, Dubai City center and the subway station are to the right;

- If you go in the opposite direction along Jumeirah Street, after 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) there is the Etihad Museum and the famous flagpole;

- During the snack before the tour, don't bring dates and sweets with you. This table is a sign of hospitality. Taking anything from the table with you is a disrespect to the host;

- When the tour guide speaks, do not interrupt or speak loudly to one another. Respect the other participants who are listening. There is no need to try to take photos during the guide's narration. Don't get in the way, there will be more than enough time for photos after;

- You will need dirhams for payment. Dollars, pounds, euros or other currencies are not accepted. It is advised to change money in advance. Read our review "How to change currency in the UAE".

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