Abu Dhabi : Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Grand Mosque - iamjmkayne.com

Abu Dhabi is the capital city of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and it offers many great attractions to visit!

In my first Abu Dhabi 10 blog post, I have shared Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque as one of the free places/site to visit here in Abu Dhabi and this year, we have visited it once again. The last time was I guess 5 or 6 years ago and somehow the place is now highly maintained and probably 99% complete now. (I think a few parking areas are still under construction)

How to get there:

Basically if you have a car, you could go directly to the place. There is a dedicated parking for the tourist is available right in front of the entrance. In case you don’t have the wheels, you could ride a taxi. From Abu Dhabi city, it would cost your around 35-40 AED one way. Prefer to save? Then bus rides are also available, below are the route numbers.

      • Route No. 117 (Industrial City of Abu Dhabi – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque)
      • Route No. 102 (Mussafah station – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque)
      • Route No. 400 (Baniyas west bus station – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque)
      • Route No. 500 (Al Mafraq Workers’ City – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque)

Going back home? Not a problem! There are many taxis on queue on the exit!

Getting Inside

Male & Female Entrance are separate, a scanner in both doors are available to check your bags. Ladies are then directed to a room of abaya where they could change (it is for free) and once you go out, another room is also available for you to return them.


Going around

Specific rules are being noted as you walk around, a few of them includes:

  1. Keeping a certain space to enter, make sure you notice those codons.
  2. Keeping off the grass area
  3. Manner of taking photos, keep them simple, no peace signs, heart signs or even raising hands and other unconventional poses.
  4. If you have a tattoo, make sure it is covered.
  5. Ladies hair must be under the attached sheila (of the ready-made abaya provided by the mosque), avoid showing it off.
  6. Taking a pose with your partner? Husband-wife, bf-gf? – avoid touching each other. Keep a distance.
  7. Avoid too much noise while touring around
  8. Finally, be guided that as you enter inside the main mosque, there are shoe stations where you leave them and go around in barefoot. (with socks is acceptable)


These rules are being implemented by some security guards around and yes, we’ve been reprimanded quiet a lot in this trip 😀

Now, let me share a few of the photos we have – won’t spoil you with much pictures because I’m confident that you’ll appreciate it  better in person! And by the way, there is also a Coffee and Souvenir Shop inside.

A Quick Info about the GRAND MOSQUE

Tagged as the world’s second largest mosque, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi could cater 14,000 people praying. The Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky designed it and was constructed between 1996 and 2007. It covers an area of around 12 hectares (30 acres) at 290 m (960 ft) by 420 m (1,380 ft). The 99 names of Allah is also featured in the centre of the mosque.

This structure has been launched by the late president of the UAE Sheikh Zayed bin Al Nahyan who wanted to diversify the Islamic world by mixing both historic and modern architecture. His final resting place is located on the grounds adjacent to the complex.


Watch this short video from my IG stories…


It’s Eid al-Adha, what’s your plan?

 Photo credit from: riyadhprayertimes.com

Eid al-Adha is one of the many holidays that UAE and other muslim countries celebrates.

There are 2 Eid celebrations: One is Eid al-Fitr that’s the end of the Ramadan season and the upcoming one on 31st August is Eid al-Adha. It is also known as the Big Eid probably because it is usually noted as a long holiday (including the weekends). This Eid is also called as the Sacrifies Feast, in honor of Abraham who willingly sacrificed/offered his son as an act of submission to God’s command. Pretty much the same story with what we Christians have in the holy bible.

With the holiday approaching, what’s your plan?!?

You’d probably heard this question asked by many of your family and friends around here in the UAE.

As for me and Kokobear, we don’t have a concrete plan yet. Unlike last year, we headed to Sri Lanka but this year due to what happened last December, we don’t have any. But even though we don’t have a plan, I just thought of sharing a few suggestions for you, your friends and family to bond with during this holiday season.

Check these out!

1. Catch up some lost sleep – Have you ever thought that you always don’t have enough sleep? When in fact it has become psychological. We tend to complain not having enough sleep because we wake up early morning for work or school but when it’s weekend, we stay up way late at night or even until dawn, since there is no commitment the next day. hehehe I feel you! I am currently in that stage. But hey, it’s a 3 days holiday, so go ahead hit the sack now. 🙂

2. Stay at home and do the Karaoke – We Filipinos are known for our love of music and a Karaoke is a must activity for most of us. So take out all the chips and drinks, let’s sing it and let’s do it MY~~~ WAY!!!!  haha 😀

3. Try out an Emirati/Arabic Restaurant and somehow feel how they celebrate Eid – Understanding a country’s culture always includes enjoying the local cuisine and so why not look for an Arabic restaurant (roasted Lebanese chickens exempted, coz I guess we’ve all tasted that on day to day basis)… Or maybe, if you happen to know a local family, then why not visit and try to celebrate it with them!

4. Photo Walk or Enroll in a class you’re interested in – Have you noticed that the weather starts to cool down? It’s good for a photo walk now! It doesn’t require a DSLR to do that, your mobile phones could actually deliver. Take a photo and burn some calories too! Hitting two birds with one stone! 🙂 Another option is to take a class that you’re interested in. Maybe a photography class or calligraphy and others? Very simple, just check out some nearby seminars/workshop events on Facebook or use Google!

5. Go to the beach or park – It’s a good time to spend time with family and friends by the beach, Corniche will always be open, or how about Saadiyat beach! Well, if you want to entertain your tastebuds into barbeque sessions, the parks will also be a good option!

6. Movie (cinema) or Movie marathon at home – Movies movies movies! Who doesn’t want to catch up some movies and do a marathon at home or check out the latest showing at the nearest cinema? I bet watching movie is the number one past time here in the UAE.

7. Visit Family and relatives from the other Emirates – Majority of us here in the UAE has family members staying in the other Emirates, so why not reconnect ties and bond more with them. Make more family memories to relinguish by staying at their home, or book a hotel in RAK, see some green gardens in Al Ain, or enjoy the huge Dubai mall! After all, Eid al-Adha was a family offering for God.

8. Get to know Abu Dhabi more by visiting these 10 Free Site-seeing Places. – Yes, I have recently wrote for Biggie Tips – 7 Free Site Seeing Places in Abu Dhabi and I have added 3 more to make it 10 on my own blog. 🙂 This is quiet connected to #5 with more options though :D. Let’s try being a tourist of our own city and explore Abu Dhabi’s must see places.

9. Take a short trip outside UAE. – Three days is enough to visit the nearest country such as Georgia, Sri Lanka in our case last year, or do a 2 nights/3 days short solo trip to Armenia just like what Ms. Poet RM did. Read her story on Going Solo to Yerevan Armenia 2016.

    Follow her blog as she shares herself through poetry & check out her adventures on http://mspoetrm.wordpress.com 🙂

10. Service + Fellowship with CFFL Brethren – Community life is a lifestyle, so how about service + fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the community? This is just another great way to spend this holiday more meaningful by offering time to God through service & fellowship. Check out these photos below shared by our brothers and sisters in the community. Photo credits to Bro. Wilper, Sis Joan and Sis Bevz.

These are just 10 of my suggestionson what to do during this Eid al-Adha. Maybe you could add more? Share your thoughts on the comment below.

God bless and enjoy your Eid al-Adha!





How to get a Police Clearance Certificate in Abu Dhabi (2017) – with 2018 updates

Police Clearance Certificate (PPC) is a good conduct certificate for an individual taken from your home country or overseas if you have stayed in that country for a while.

Just like me – been in Abu Dhabi for almost 9 years now. In the Philippines, this is pretty much the version of our NBI Clearance.

PPC is usually needed for new employments in government or semi-government companies, so as some other private companies. Some use it for immigration purposes to a few European countries, Australia,  🇦🇺 Ireland, 🇮🇪 and Canada🇨🇦.

Getting one here in Abu Dhabi is easy. There are 2 options:

Option 1: Online. – You can either log in to MOI website (www.moi.gov.ae) or download their app.

This will require you to log in with your Emirates ID, Activate it via your mobile number (in my case, my number was not updated, that’s why I opt to option 2) and then you Fill up the form. Finally, you pay for the cost. Since I haven’t tried this option, I am not sure if the certificate will be released right then and there. Nevertheless according to what I’ve read in some other blogs; it is released right away.

Option 2: In Person. You need to visit Khalidiya Police Station (or any other nearby Police Station).

You enter the station & the reception will guide you. You need to present only your Emirates ID and a number will be given to you.

The queue wasn’t that long, 3-4 persons were ahead of me and in no time my number (C-045) was served! The counters are not the usual counter we find in service centers, instead, it’s an open room where you could comfortably seat (although the stay is short) I guess I spent about 5 minutes only.

What is required.

  • Emirates ID
  • Debit/Credit card for a payment of 54/- AED

The only requirement is Emirates ID. Although personally I have prepared a *copy of the E-Id, my *passport (original) and *copies of the main page & visa page). *These are just optional, I’ve read it in some web pages, so I tried to be ready with these papers. Just in case you know…

Debit/Credit card 💳 is mandatory. As I noticed they don’t accept cash payments. Therefore make sure you have your card with you.

At the counter, you give your queue number & Emirates ID. The personnel then will fill your data on the system & asks you for your debit/credit card for the payment. At the same time, he/she will also ask for the purpose why you need the PPC. After that, she’ll give you the receipt with the reference number and will advise you when to go back to claim your certificate. In my case, I can take it the next day. So basically it’s just one day. But for others, it may take 2-3 days.

Overall I would say I spent less than an hour in doing this process. Isn’t it convenient!?! Thumbs up 👍🏼to Abu Dhabi/UAE for making this process quicker! I do hope that the Philippines🇵🇭 will have such capacity to process any government documents with one ID! Rather than a paper 📝 of this and another paper for that, photo here and a copy of this there …  etcetera. Someday, in God’s perfect time I know that “change” will happen too!

Hope this post helps you!

Collection: Since I applied on a weekend (Thursday), my collection schedule is Sunday.

This one took me almost an hour. Only one counter was opened doing all the processes, I arrived at 9:30 and got my paper at 10:25 am.

* * *

UPDATE as of January 2018 – Shared by Chris

Hi JM, unfortunately now they will not entertain anybody in any police stations here in auh. After days of processing we finally made it. Just go to any immigration typing center and make a request with a fee of AED 145 and a no objection letter from your sponsor/company. Just make sure that they type all your infos correctly otherwise you need to go back again because your request will be returned for modification. And when you will recieve the approval just go to immigration officers and they will update your number.

For those who doesnt have a driving licence use the MOI app because you cannot acces the Auh police app without it. Goodluck!!

* * *

UPDATE as of February 2018 – Shared by itsmeshey (@SiLlyrehs)

Itsmeshey  – Edit

Hi, update ko lang exempted po ang “lahat” ng mga filipino na in between jobs or may eid. Feb 18 po ipinatupad yan. Feb 20 ako nagpunta sa isa sa typing offices nila. pinakita sakin memo nila, written in arabic nga lang po. Hanggang July po ito dahil pinagiisipan pa ang mas madaling proceso para dito. Pero sa other nationalities na balak o kasalukuyang nasa trabaho ay required po ito.

* * *

UPDATE as of 31 March 2018 – Shared by TIN 

Tin – March 31, 2018 at 10:01 AM

(in Reply to Rommel’s comment) . . . Sa may Mussafah Police Station ako nag asikaso isang araw lang. Lapit lang un sa dalma mall walking distance pagbaba ng bus stop dun. Dala ko present id,copy of previous eid,offer letter saka debit card,in some cases hinahanap din NOC. May case na walang present id (as visit visa) pero may kopya ng dating eid plus dinala din nya pati form ng pagkuha ng id nya dati gang pagcancel,for supporting document na may record na sya dito sa uae. In fairness 1 day lang din naayos tyempuhan lang din yata kaya sabayan lagi ng prayer lam naman natin bilis mag iba ng rules. Andun din typing center sa loob mismo na mag aupdate ng number or maggagawa ng request. Mabait mga police laloy nasa reception un muna unang kakausapin. Naka 200 yata ako kaya better bus lang pagpunta tipid hehe sa may gold center abangan. D masamang magtry…

And nakuha ko na nga din palay sakin sa email bago matapos yung 24 hrs kaya d nako bumalik. Lam ko 2 days pinakamatagal na release kaya pag wala pa within that time better bumalik sa typing center na nag asikaso sayo baka may namaling infos lalo nay email kaya dpa dumadating. Baka lang po.

UPDATE as of 01 APRIL 2018 

From Khaleej Times – Good Conduct Suspended

God bless!

NOTE: Please read the UPDATES according to dates that I added. To help you find it easier, I have asked permission from those who commented below to add it up in the main blog post. 🙂


8 Years in Abu Dhabi

This is a quick post on how time passes by.

My Facebook newsfeed today, 12th October 2016 showed a 7 year photo of me being home in the Philippines. That was my first “OFW Balik-bayan moment” after a year of being in the world’s richest city! 


Those years seemed to pass in just a click. A lot have changed, few remained the same and one thing has been constant. 


Changes – Aspects in life such as physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, psychological and more. 


Remained Family (also constant), Friends (true one stays), the same JM or BJ that left Cebu in Sept 2008 etc. 


Constant – God’s Love for me and my family! His blessings, mercy, love and faithfulness! 


I won’t go into details this time. As I’ve said this is a quickie! Hehehe  . . . The main thing I want to express is that I AM GRATEFUL & I AM BLESSED.


Father, allow me to honor you for everything you have done for me in this foreign land! Amen.




Abu Dhabi – 10!

10 Basic Things to know about ABU DHABI

It has been 7 years and a couple of months since I first stepped on this beautiful city of Abu Dhabi! When I travel to a certain place, I often research the basic stuffs… I have tried to search on the net but it’s either too small or too long. On this blog I am making 10! Ten of the basic information every first timer should know about AUH-Abu Dhabi.


1.       Flight
·    Duration: 8 Hours ++ (especially if you have stop overs) – from Philippines

·    Cost – More or less 2500 – 4000 AED depending on the season (2 way) – its around 30-40K Php)

There are various of airplanes that offers flights to Abu Dhabi… during my first time – i flew with Qatar Airway… Actually Abu Dhabi has the flag carrier – Etihad Airways… while Dubai has Emirates Airlines…


2.       Capital – Abu Dhabi is the Capital of UAE.
Abu Dhabi

The Other cities : Dubai – the most popular among all 7 emirates, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Um Al Quwain (UAQ), Ajman andFujairah.


3.       Dirhams – Abu Dhabi or UAE in general, uses Dirhams (Money currency).
·         Conversion – 1 dirham is usually between 11-11.50 Php – sometimes in the year it reaches 12 Php too. But to make the calculations easy – I usually use 1 AED = 10 Php.

·         Salary – new comers can at least expect 2000 – 2500 as a first salary (this depends on the type of job though) – some are blessed to get higher based on the qualification and the companies Salary scheme


4.       Weather – Summer/Winter
·         Ramadan – summer – the heat can go up to 50 degrees Celsius
·         Christmas – 18 degree probably… though some Emirates are noted to experience some hail storms.

Although they also use spring or fall in between Summer & Winter seasons…


5.       Downtown Streets  & Sites to See 

Hamdan, Elektra, Salam, Najdah – these are the downtown streets that I am very much familiar with because in these aread, you see shops, malls, restaturants and more!

Al Mariah Island, Ferrari World, Beaches, Malls, Yas Waterworld, Emirates Palace, Heritage Park, the newly opened The Eye,  and more.

6.       Corniche & Parks

The most popular park is called Corniche, but many parks sourrounds the city – you would notice various green areas because the government has done a good job when it comes to park wherein always full-packed on Fridays for families gathering. Picnic, barbeque or if the weather is friendly – you would see beach buddies too!




7.       Religion & Leaders
As known by everyone – UAE with the 7 Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Um Al Quwain and  Fujairah) is a Muslim country. Islam is widely practiced by the locals & other Arabs. But! Christianity is open. You will be able to find Catholic churches around the place and other denomination of Christians. Hindu and other eastern religions are present too!

H.E. Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan has allowed the openness of this city to the other faithful that made this country blessed.

Crown Princes of  UAE
8.       Sports

If basketball is the hype at home, here – soccer is the BIG one! UAE’s Soccer team is the no. 1 in the gulf. Our very own team AZKALS did have a friendly match with these fellas just this year and although the Emiratis won, the Philippine crowd won – as we made the stadium


9.       Races & the Locals 
UAE as a whole has so many different people. You will meet different nationalities & races. But for sure in every shop – a Pinoy/Pinay is present!
UAE people are called Emiratis or also known as “Locals”. While they call us “Expats”. Filipinos though because we are 3rd in population are also known as “kabayan”.


10.   Job Sites
Often Pinoys come to Abu Dhabi for one (1) major reason – and that is to get a better job. Although at the moment, our government claimed that Philippine economy has been performing well, it doesn’t stop us to go somewhere with a greener pasture.
Visit visa? Tourist visa? Here are the important job sites to search for job opportunities in Abu Dhabi and the nearby cities.
www.linkedin.com – a general recruitment & professional social networking.  You may also consider, bayt.com.
———– * * * ———-
Helpful websites about Abu Dhabi & UAE:
1. http://www.uaeinteract.com/news/default3.asp?page=2&ID=234
2. https://www.abudhabi.ae
3. www.http://visitabudhabi.ae/
4. www.http://government.ae/en


Photos: From google & its respective main sources.