Reaching Bastak Square where it the neat looking building of SMCCU is located, gave us a sense of achievement and it was our turn to wait in sheer impatience for the tour to start.
Our good luck that we got to visit the Al Jumeirah Mosque, the only mosque open to non-Muslims. And thank God it was not a Friday! Plus no booking was required, so we managed to just breeze in. But I had to borrow a scarf to cover my head to enter it. The delicate minarets and a roofline crowned with dome had us mesmerized.
The Bastakia quarter a heritage area with its quaint narrow alleys, museums made the walking tour an experience beyond compare. The wind towers an ancient form of air-conditioning left the entire crowd marvelling.
We had decided to give the cultural breakfast a skip as the hotel had served a delicious large breakfast. However, we looked forward to the cultural lunch, for which my husband had smartly made a booking for. And of course we were ravenous after walking around so much.
Ushered into the centre for lunch was one of moments which I will always remember as the royal feel to the spread laid out in front was a literal treat. The traditional greeting and starting the meal sitting on the floor with chanting of Bismillah transported me in days gone by, where sitting on the floor and eating together was a custom, in all Islamic countries. The meat dishes were to die for.
I heard that the spoken Arabic courses to learn the Arabic dialect are pretty popular and are on a rolling basis. One can contact the SMCCU for further details. As the sun set on another day I decided that the next time I come I will try to attend at least one lecture on it .However the commentary the local guides offered us gave me a fair idea of the spoken Arabic dialect.