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Al Badiyah mosque

The oldest mosque in the UAE

Al Bidiya Mosque (Al Badiyah Mosque) was built in 1446, making it the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. Easily accessible along the coastal road near the beautiful hotels ont the beach, it can be visited, as well as the guard tower erected at the top of the rocky promontory by the Portuguese.

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History of the mosque

The Al Bidiya Mosque (Al Bidya) is sometimes referred to as the Ottoman Mosque (Othmanian Mosque), named after its architect Othman, which has nothing to do with the Ottoman Empire. His official name is Al Masjid Al Othmani. It is located in the village of Al Bidiya where traces of human settlement dating back to 3000 BC were exhumed. According to Australian researchers who dated carbon 14 samples of organic materials in the walls, the mosque was erected in the year 1446. It is the oldest in the country and also the most atypical. The tiny prayer room of 7m² is surmounted by four small domes. The construction is made of plaster, dried mud and gypsum. Before its restoration in 2003, the mosque was white, now it has a natural brown color.

The Portuguese fortified towers

After the brief visit to the Al Bidiyah Mosque, climb the rocky promontory and reach the two fortified towers erected by the Portuguese.

Portuguese defense tower near Al Bidya mosque, in the emirate of Fujairah ©Odyfolio

Nice point of view and panorama

At sunset, it is a magnificent panorama stretching before our eyes with the Indian Ocean on one side, and on the other the palm groves with the Al Hajar mountain range as background.

Panorama of the Indian Ocean in the Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

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Information for the visit

Reopened after restoration in March 2003, it is held by an imam who tolerates tourists on the condition that they do not enter the building when worshipers gather. Proper dress required: no bare legs or shoulders, women must wear a scarf to hide their hair (to bring). And of course take off his shoes. The interior is small and boils down to prayer rugs on the floor and some copies of the Koran on shelves.

Access map

The mosque and the Portuguese tower are perfectly visible from the road, on the left when you drive from South to North (ie when the ocean is on your right). There is a small parking on site.

Location of Bidiya Mosque, in the Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Access map to the Al Bidiya mosque, in the northern part of the emirate of Fujairah ©OpenStreetMap contributors

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Visit also

Fujairah Beach Hotels
Itineraries Fujairah
Fort Hayl (Al Hayl Castle)
Fujairah City
Fujairah Fort
Khor Fakkan
Fort Al Bithnah
Wadi Wurayah
Fujairah Museum

Notes and references ▼