Just behind the Textile Souk lie old Dubai’s seats of both temporal and spiritual power. The Grand Mosque (entrance restricted to Muslims only) is a big as its name implies: a sprawling ochre building, topped with dozens of tiny domes and the tallest minaret in the city. Despite its traditional appearance, however, it dates from as recently as 1990.
Next door is the Diwan, formerly home to the offices of the Ruler of Dubai (although most municipal power is now wielded from Sheikh Mohammed’s executive suite atop the Emirates Towers office building). The building itself, protected by high railings, is rather dull, although the attached mosque is pretty, crowned by a finely carved white dome and a slender minaret which vies with that of the nearby Grand Mosque for skyline space.