Although the UAE may be best globally known for its spectacular urban landscapes, man-made islands and gleaming skyscrapers, it is also home to Al Badiyah Mosque, a historic place of worship that attracts thousands of tourists from around the world every year.
The oldest extant mosque in the UAE, Al Badiyah lies 35 kilometres north of the Emirate of Fujairah. The 50 sq m, mud-brick structure is estimated to date from 1599. Named after the town that once surrounded it, the mosque neighbours a Portuguese fort and a historic cemetery.
Al Badiyah stuns visitors with the quality of its construction, a impressive feat for the period in which it was built. It features a prayer hall decorated with arches, ventilation openings and a mihrab, which is a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla (direction of Mecca). A central pillar divides the internal space into four squares of similar dimensions, which are covered by four domed ceilings. Every day, the mosque holds five prayers, and tours that offer visitors a unique insight into not just the UAE’s history, but also that of the early Islamic world.www.fujairahtourism.ae