The Grand Mosque is one of the most important buildings of Islamic worship in the city of Dubai and in the cultural life of all Muslims in the city. It is located between the textile souk and the Dubai Museum in the Bur Dubai area, not far from the Hindu temple.
Its origins date back to 1900, when it was first built, although it was later demolished and rebuilt for the first time in 1960 and for the second time in 1998, when it assumed the appearance we can still see today.
Up to 1,200 worshippers can be accommodated inside, while non-Muslims are not given access to the mosque, with the exception of the minaret from which photographs can also be taken. Visitors are warned at the entrance to dress soberly without revealing body parts.
The distinguishing feature of the Grand Mosque in Dubai is undoubtedly its minaret, a full 70 metres high, the tallest in the city, built in the Anatolian architectural style and vaguely resembling a lighthouse.
The walls of the Mosque are sandy-grey in colour and for the most part are not carved or adorned, except for a large Koranic inscription above the five columns of the entrance façade, which can be reached by climbing six small steps.
Inside there are a total of 54 domes, of which 45 are small and nine much larger, and numerous wooden windows, surrounded by hand-decorated glass that blends in well with the atmosphere inside the old city of Bur Dubai.
Like all the attractions of the city located in this area, it is not easy to get there by metro: the most suitable stops of the green metro line are Al Ghubaiba, which is about 1.5 kilometres from the Mosque, and Al Fahidi, which is about 900 metres away, but the road to get there is certainly less interesting.
A good alternative for those arriving from Deira is to cross the Creek on board the Abra, the typical boats that the inhabitants of this part of Dubai have historically used for years.
The crossing of the Creek costs 1 dirham, payment is made in cash to the boatman, and is a very interesting experience, both for the magnificent panorama one encounters and for experiencing the city like a real local for a few minutes. Once disembarked in Bur Dubai, all you have to do is cross the souk and the Grand Mosque will be just a few metres away.
The history of the Grand Mosque in Dubai is simple and straightforward: it was originally a primary school where pupils learned the fundamentals of the Koran, the holy book for the Muslim religion.
It opened its doors in 1900 but the building was later replaced by a new mosque built on the same site. The 1998 reconstruction saw the façade of the Grand Mosque take on a form more faithful to the 1900 original.
Today, this building is one of the largest places of worship in Dubai and certainly dominates, in size and importance, this part of the city.
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