Dubai,  Published Work

Hidden Gems of Dubai | The Majlis Dubai And Jumeirah Mosque


Hidden Gems in Dubai – a topic that is very very close to my heart. In this blingy city which is developing by the hour, there are still many places that remain hidden – and hence untouched – and thereby unfamiliar to most people – and therefore continue to remain a *hidden gem*. So be it – for we need such hidden gems to give us a breather from the snarling traffic, the incessant construction, the snowballing statistics (the world’s longest, biggest, tallest etc) and the infinite attempts to put the city on the world map! The Majlis Dubai in the Jumeirah Mosque premise is just one of those hidden gems and I recently wrote about it in the Gulf News Property Weekly (in the coming days, I will be writing about many such Hidden Gems in PW which comes out on Wednesdays). Not many people know that Jumeirah Mosque is also the only mosque in the city that permits entry to non-Muslims. In fact, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) hosts visits to the Jumeirah Mosque 6 days a week, Saturday through Thursday at 10:00 am sharp. The visit to the mosque entails an initiation into Islam and Emirati culture through an interactive session and throws light to many questions that often pop up in our minds – specially who are non-Muslims – both expatriates and tourists. Nestled amongst the same mosque premise in the SMCCU building, is Majlis Dubai – known to be the first and the finest camel milk cafe in the city. The cafe in the Jumeirah Mosque premise, however, is a far cry from their other outlet in Dubai Mall. Hidden Gem - The MajlisDSC_4371

The first time I had visited Majlis Dubai, it was at the insistence of my blogger friend Debbie aka Coffee Cakes And Running. She had earlier visited the place during Ramadan for an Iftar meal and since then had been insisting that I would love this place. And so I did. Only that I didn’t realise that I would be loving it so much that I would end up visiting the place almost every month – at least once! Instead of parking in the parking lot of The One, where all the tourist buses halt and hordes of tourists flock to take their selfies in front of the Jumeirah Mosque, I park in the sand pit behind the mosque. The row of single storied houses and the old cars parked in front of them reminds me of the Satwa area that has now been demolished to carve in the modern shopping and lifestyle arcades under the fancy names of City Walk 1 and City Walk 2. Torn down sofas and upturned broken wooden chairs adorn the entrances. At times, the residents living in the houses are startled by my insistence to park my car in the sand pit. They do not know that I  am in a hurry to click photographs of sights and capture sounds of the city that might soon cease to exist. On my visit here, I I feel like a tourist in my own city – a familiar feeling – a sense of déja vu that surges back every now and then whenever I try to capture non-stereotypical candid shots of Dubai. A few minutes later, I would merge into a group of people and led into the mosque. The profundity of each of my mosque visit can only be highlighted by the serenity and the silence that prevails in the adjoining building housing the Majlis Cafe. DSC_4373  DSC_4432 DSC_4441 DSC_4442DSC_4443 DSC_4444 DSC_4451DSC_4448JUmeirah Mosque DSC_4376DSC_4412DSC_4409DSC_4407 DSC_4406DSC_4416DSC_4425 DSC_4458DSC_4378DSC_4402 DSC_4383DSC_4385 DSC_4388DSC_4393  DSC_4400DSC_4387DSC_4419 Untitled-3DSC_4457Morning sunshine and camelchinos – not a bad combination at all for a hidden gem, right? The next time you drive along the Jumeirah Beach Road and stop at the traffic signal, instead of sighing at the beauty of Jumeirah Mosque wondering how it looks inside, simply step inside. Curl into a sofa in Majlis Dubai after the end of a mosque tour and while you are ensconced in this hidden gem, don’t forget to order ‘Balateet’ and ‘Chabab’, the Emirati gems off the la carte menu – of course alibi an Ipad. Now, that should take you back to the comfort zone you must be used to – the modern world with gizmos and gadgets, smart phones and social media!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

Disclaimer: While there is no need for any reservation for the SMCCU mosque tour, do arrive at the main entrance early (around 9.45am) and do dress appropriately. Please note that this post is not a sponsored post and the subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and are independent. While you enjoy reading the posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts. You can catch my daily food and travel journey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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A Culinary Travel Blog by a Bong Gourmet. From Dubai, Kolkata & the world beyond, street food to fine dining, recipes to chef talks, it pens down experiences. With 2 kids in tow!


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