Al Bidiyah Mosque - the UAE’s Oldest House of Worship
Al Bidiyah Mosque (sometimes written Al Badyah or Al Bidya), located in the Bidiyah (or Al Badiyah) region of Fujairah, is the oldest mosque in the UAE.
It is not sure when the mosque was built. The archaeological centre of Fujairah in co-operation with the University of Sydney in Australia worked on the site in 1997-98, and some studies have estimated that the masjid was built in 640AD. Others indicate the building may have been built as long ago as 1446BC, meaning it had other uses before it became a Muslim house of worship.
The mosque is still in operation, and continues to host daily prayers. In addition it is a popular stopping off place for residents and tourists.
Women as well as men can visit although it is advisable for women to take a scarf or similar covering for the head and shoulders.
Take some time to see the castle above the mosque. This is an important archaeological site in the UAE. Photography in Al Badiyah Mosque is allowed.
Al Bidyah Mosque is built of stone and mud bricks and is coated in many layers of whitewashed plaster.
Architecturally, Al Bidya Mosque is unique in the UAE and the engineering features are considered a major accomplishment for the period of construction. Its distinctive roof with its four pointed domes is supported by an internal pillar and is unusual for religious architecture in the region.
The prayer has a small mihrab (the niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca) and a simple minbar (the pulpit which is usually situated to the right of the mihrab and consists of a raised platform reached by a set of steps).
Located near the ancient fishing village of the same name, the Bidiyah Mosque is only a 90-minute drive from Dubai and easily incorporated into a day trip to Fujairah. Al Bidyah Village (or Al Badiyah) is approximately 35 kms north from Fujairah city before one gets to Fujairah’s Al Aqqah hotels and beach resorts. If you drive from Fujairah City, first you will pass Khor Fakkan, then be ready to see Al Bidiyah Mosque on your left hand side.