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Look: These mosques in the United Arab Emirates take you back in time – News

Published: Friday, November 17, 2023, 6:00 am

Beyond being sacred places of worship, some mosques in the UAE serve as windows to a bygone era. Its walls have seen worshipers from several generations, and its doors have welcomed crowds from all over the world over the years.

On a journey that seems to go back in time, Khaleej Times I visited three iconic mosques that exude a distinctive old-world charm.

Al Bidya Mosque, Fujairah

AFP file

AFP file

Al Bidya Mosque was built in 1446, making it the oldest mosque in the country.

Located against the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains, the mosque does not feature fancy glass windows or shiny floors. But the hard work that has gone into its construction is evident: it is a structure made of clay, stones, mud bricks and palm wood, showcasing the traditional construction techniques of the region.

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Enter your patio and you will immediately feel a sense of calm, a welcoming environment for hours of meditation.

Inside, the mosque reflects simplicity and humility. The small prayer hall, with its arches and columns, highlights the rich heritage it houses.

This iconic place of worship is located between Khor Fakkan and Dibbah Al Fujairah.

Al Aqrobi Mosque, Al Khan Beach, Sharjah

Along Sharjah’s Al Khan Beach is a hidden gem: a mosque built almost a hundred years ago.

This sand-coloured Al Aqrobi Mosque is the centerpiece of a large complex, with its minaret almost 20 meters from the main prayer area.

The structure of the building is supported by five pillars and worshipers can offer prayers in only four rows. It is said to be one of the smallest mosques in the country.

After almost a century, the Al Aqrobi Mosque remains intact, with its wooden roof, an ancient lantern and four large wooden windows in front and two windows on each side.

The interiors, however, were changed slightly with new carpets and air conditioning installations. One of its most distinctive parts is its minaret, which was built a few meters above the ground.

Bin Zayed Mosque, Al Shindagha, Dubai

The entire Shindagha neighborhood in Dubai is part of the country’s heritage, but one of its jewels is the Bin Zayed Mosque.

Despite the new constructions in the area, this mosque has maintained its old architectural design.

The patio rug is reminiscent of date palm leaves in earth tones. Even in the main prayer room, the carpet has been crafted to replicate the appearance of the fibers of the date palm tree.

Traditional lanterns illuminate the compact room, while a rustic ceiling fan keeps worshipers comfortable.

Look up and you’ll find wooden beams holding the roof together. Offering prayers inside is surely an experience to remember.

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