It was a relief to know that to visit this mosque, reservations are not necessary but I urged my son to hurry up as, though the morning tour starts at 10 am, one has to be at its gates by 9.45 am. We soon found ourselves looking at the world’s most visited and most photogenic mosque. SMCCU had made arrangements for a guide and we waited eagerly to commence the tour.
Before getting in we were asked to cover our heads with a scarf and remove shoes prior to entering the mosque. I smiled in relief as my son was older than 5 years, as entry of children under five is not allowed. I got a pleasant surprise as I saw a woman in jeans rushing to a changing room to dress in traditional attire, which can be borrowed at the mosque.
At the end of the 75 minute tour all of us were asked to be seated. Then commenced, the question-answer session. Visitors could ask all they wanted to know about the Emirates Islamic culture. And the wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, kept up a smooth exchange of queries, which were satisfactorily answered by the guide and scholars in the mosque.
I made enquiries about tours for more than 10 people, and I was told I had to book in advance for it. And also if one does not want to join public tours, there are arrangements for private tours too but with pre-booking. On my way out, I thought just 10AED per head with child under 12 free, was reasonable enough for this highly knowledgeable journey into Islamic culture.