Tour Locations | On the road to Etihad: From street art to sweet treats
Just ahead, you’ll see the Satwa Al Kabeer Mosque. Keep going while I tell you about it.
Kabeer, which means big in Arabic, is a fitting name given that this is one of the largest mosques in the neighbourhood. But it’s by no means the only one. That’s because the founding father of modern Dubai – Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum – asked city planners to make sure that citizens would never be more than 500 meters or so from a mosque in Dubai, so they would never need to walk long distances in the heat to pray.
That was in the 1970s, when the emirate was just beginning its transformation from a trading port into a global city, but it’s still true today.
The UAE has all kinds of mosques – the Jumeirah Mosque, not far from here, is one of the first built in the city and is still one of the largest. But there are also unusual mosques like Satwa’s "Steel Mosque”, only a few blocks from here. This small distinctive structure is made entirely out of metal panels with a short minaret. The absolute essentials, basically – but it still gets busy, and on some evenings, people gather in rows outside to pray when there’s no space inside.
Keep going straight. I’ll tell you more about the Al Kabeer Mosque in a minute.