Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Al Bidyah Mosque

After our time in Muscat, we drove up the coast, back across the UAE border, and stayed one night in the emirate of Fujairah. It shares much of the same landscape as Oman with beaches flanked by mountains. We experienced some unusual winter weather there, with gusty winds and foreboding clouds, causing the beach to look more like the coast of Oregon in the 80's film The Goonies than what we are used to seeing in the UAE. It was stunning, and we enjoyed sitting on the sand soaking in the cool, salty air and sound of crashing waves.

Before heading back to Abu Dhabi we visited Al Bidyah Mosque. Built in the 15th century, it is the oldest still-standing structure in the UAE, not to mention the oldest mosque. Its architecture is unusual in this region, and reminded us of the adobe-style prevalent in the southwestern US, Central and South America.

The mosque is well maintained and still operational, despite being a stop for many tour buses. 

From the watch tower above the mosque you can view more of the magnificent scenery. Located north of Fujairah town on E99, about 15 kms south of Dibba, it is worth the drive to experience this piece of history and natural beauty in a country so enthralled with all things modern and high tech.

Our last stop before crossing the mountain pass back to the western coast of the UAE was at one of the many roadside farmer's markets. These farmers have shrewdly picked up on the Western affinity for "locally-grown produce." Each time the merchants would show me their wares - a bunch of bananas or a piece of orange, they would proclaim "local!" "local!" Incidentally, we bought some of the best mango that I've eaten since arriving in the UAE.

1 comment:

  1. We really enjoyed our trip to Fujairah and Al Bidiya mosque too. The old Fujairah Fort was a nice find too....and we were the only ones there.