It so happened that I have made sudden plans to go to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi the next day. (You’ll find more about it in the next Glimpse.) Local guides insisted that we should “make sure to dress accordingly”, to wear long sleeves and trousers. Appropriate scarves would be given to us at the entrance, they said.

What a thrill! I have rushed to my friend’s house, begged for any kind of trousers, since I did come here for a summer vacation and everything I brought was short and light (but still not “light enough” when it comes to these 45 degrees). So, I have ended up with men’s trousers and a blouse which were both too large and which I was going to boil in for sure. But, it is the Grand Mosque we are talking about, remember!

And yes – it was too hot to wear those trousers, and yes – I have slipped numerous times because they were too long and lumpish, but at least I have managed to pack that blouse, congratulating myself for being practical as I was going to pull it out of my bag the minute I step into the Mosque. Even had a scarf of my own. So, I was fully prepared, no surprises there!


“Shorter” abaya for the Grand Mosque visit

I got to the entrance. One Arab guy was pointing to a dressing room “where tourists were supposed to get the required abaya dresses for women or white dishdasha for men”.

“Thank you, sir, but I have all I need in my bag. I am well prepared.”

He smiles, saying that I should just “take the small elevator down.”.

“No, really, you don’t understand, it’s fine, I have all I need.”

Still nice, smiling, he was strict this time: “I understand madam, but please, be so kind and just go to the elevator.”

Oh well, I went along, of course. Went down, left my ID and got – short hooded black and blue abaya, being “shorter” because I had those trousers on?!

If by any chance I had come wearing a light, summer skirt (ideal for taking a trip in this heat, by the way), I would have gotten a longer abaya, covering my ankles. That blouse came to be useless as well, it stayed packed, just being heavy, along with the scarf! And I have dragged that full, bulky bag for three or four hours I have spent in the Mosque, for nothing!

Came back to Dubai, returned the cloths to its owner. “Hope it did come useful”, he said. Hum, the heat, stumbling, dragging, but also – great white marble wonder in the middle of nowhere. I just smiled and said:

“Thank you, it was surely worth it.”


The full Dubai SERIES


0 comments on “Dubai: VISITING THE GRAND MOSQUE (11)

    1. Oh, yes, it’s beautiful. I would like to take credit for it and say that it’s just up to my “photo skills”, but that wouldn’t be true, because the mosque itself is surreal.
      There will be more about it (pictures included) on Wednesday follow-up. 🙂
      Thanks for commenting.

    2. Oh wow! what an experience and thank you very much for sharing this post. As a Female traveler, I ALWAYS have to research what is the appropriate clothing especially when visiting countries in the Middle East. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip! =)

  1. Oh no! But as I can see from the picture, all your trials and tribulations look to have been worth it to see that mosque. And definitely a good story that you’ll remember for many years to come! Looking forward to reading about the mosque in your next post…

  2. Hahaha, the things you have to do to see some of these beautiful places! As you say, it definitely looks like it was worth it. But it couldn’t have always felt like that though – and to think you had actually made the effort to come prepared to! Oh well, makes for a great blog post I suppose 😉

    1. First of all, great memories and a nice story to tell when you come home. Than it’s easy to turn it into an interesting post I guess. 😉 Thank you so much, glad to have made you laugh! 😀

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