Rising proudly above the northern end of the Jumeirah Road, the stately Jumeirah Mosque is one of the largest and most attractive in the city. Built in quasi-Fatimid (Egyptian) style, it’s reminiscent in appearance, if not quite in size, of the great mosques of Cairo, with a pair of soaring minarets, a roofline embellished with delicately carved miniature domes and richly decorated windows set in elaborate rectangular recesses. As with many of Dubai’s more venerable-looking buildings though, medieval appearances are deceptive – the mosque was actually built in 1979.
It also has the added attraction of being the only mosque in Dubai that non-Muslims can visit, owing to the four weekly tours run by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). These offer a good opportunity to get a look at the mosque’s rather chintzy interior, with its distinctive green-and-orange colour scheme and delicately painted arches. The real draw, however, are the entertaining and informative guides, who explain some of the basic precepts and practices of Islam before throwing the floor open for questions – a rare chance to settle some of those perplexing local conundrums, whether it be a description of the workings of the Islamic calendar or an explanation of exactly what Emirati men wear under their robes.