The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the UAE and the most beautiful building I’ve had the opportunity to visit while living here. To reflect the spirit of Islam, a religion of peace, education and tolerance, the mosque is open to visitors of all nationalities for educational tours. To enter the mosque, women are required to wear an abaya and a sheila, while men are required to wear a kandora if they are wearing shorts.
We have visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque twice – once with my Mum & Renee – the other with Chris & Kate. Both trips were absolutely outstanding and well worth the nearly 2 hour drive from Dubai. During our first visit, a gorgeous blue sky complimented the brilliant white exterior of the mosque.
On our second trip to the mosque the sky was filled with clouds, creating a beautiful moody effect against the gorgeous structure.
As you enter the main grounds you are greeted by tall columns containing inlaid mosaics with stones from 21 different countries. Stunning is an understatement.
Tourists are allowed to visit inside the mosque to see the the equally gorgeous and ornate interior. You can even ask for a tour guide who will explain about Islam and Islamic architecture (highly recommended!).
One of the first things you notice as you walk inside is the overflowing floral designs… everywhere. From the walls, to the floor, to the clock (noting prayer times).
The world’s largest carpet is found in the main prayer hall and measures an astounding 60,570 sq ft with 2,268,000,000 knots. The carpet was shipped from Iran in about a dozen pieces and then stitched together.
The 99 names (qualities) of Allah are listed beautifully on the floor to ceiling wall in the main prayer hall.
There are seven German chandeliers throughout the interior, each containing millions of Swarovski crystals at a cost of $3 million dollars. The colors of the seven chandeliers were hand picked by the Sheikh himself and weigh close to 9 tons.
In true UAE style, the bathrooms should not be ignored in terms of design. Check out the gorgeous ablution room.
I honestly can’t say enough about how much I loved visiting the gorgeous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Our tour guide was amazing and told our small group about meaningful local customs and traditions in Islam I would have otherwise missed. What a meaningful experience to share with my wonderful family and friends.
Love to you all!