Nowadays, the United Arab Emirates are one of the most popular destinations for the tourists who are looking for a sensational experience.People want to visit UAE for the futuristic architecture, the extreme luxury, the possibility to ski in the middle of the desert and practice a lot of sport activities, shopping in the biggest malls of the world and for the amazing beaches. Usually, when we talk about UAE, we immediately think about the richness and the two most popular places: Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The country has other 5 emirates, ( UAE is composed by 7 Emirates), where the luxury and modernity are not so evident and people live in a easier way following the cultural traditions.
In our trip we decided to head to the Fujairah Emirate, to visit a very interesting religious place: Al Badiyah Mosque. After driving along the Fujairah-Dibba road, halfway between the popular east coast tourist spots of Khor Fakkan and Al Aqah, we got to the mosque. Al Badiyah was built in a small village on the Fujairah rocky coast and it is the oldest place of worship in the country.
Also known as Ottoman Mosque, this small square structure has an area of 53 square meters and , it was used materials available in the area to build it: mainly stones of various sizes and mud bricks coated in many layers of whitewashed plaster. The mosque has a distinctive structure and its amazing feature is the roof. It was made with four domes rests on only one pillar without any wooden or iron bars and there are no minarets. All that is very particular, and no one knows exactly when the mosque was built. An Australian team, using the carbon dating, dated the holy place around the year 1446 A.D. Exact details about who built the mosque and the small community who lived around it , remain largely unknown. The only other historical evidence for its age are the towers of a Portuguese fort, built behind the mosque, more than 200 years ago, where we had a wonderful view of all the area.
We met the Imam Hafiz who invited us to visit the little mug mosque. Looking the mosque interior I realized that it was a very fascinating place with double winged wooden doors and different small decorative windows. There were also some cube shape spaces, carved into the thick wall, where old copies of the holy Quran and other books were stored.
The mosque also had a small Mihrab, the space where the Imam calls to pray and a Minbar, a pulpit where the Friday sermon is said. If you are visiting Fujairah emirate and you pass by the Al Badiyah mosque, it’s worth visiting it!
Getting there : the best way is by car, it’s 40 km from Fujairah driving along the E99 ,on the way back you can stop by in Kor Fakkan, where you can find one of the most famous promenade in this area and also nice beaches. You can get there also by taxi ( haggle the fare, could be around 130 AED return ) or by bus ( the stop is located next to Lulu Hypermarket at Lulu Mall, ticket around 12 AED ). From Dubai you can reach Fujairah without any issue with RTA bus for 25 AED.