Ranked as one of the world’s favourite landmarks, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque attracts 5 million curious visitors around the world each year. Located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, often overshadowed by its sibling emirate of Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque attracts many visitors to endeavour in exploration of the capital. After you go there, you’ll see why.
Whenever a friend or a family member comes to visit me in Dubai, the Grand Mosque is always one of the top things on the list. It is so beautiful, and quite honestly, very grand. The late Sheikh Zayed, the founder of this mosque, began his creation with the intention to ‘unite the world’ and also, unite the Islamic world with the ‘historical and modern values of architecture and art’. If you’d like to know more about this wonderful sight, keep reading!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Dress code: Both men and women have to dress conservatively, this means no knees or shoulders. Long and clothing that is loose fitting. For women, the hair has to be covered, I brought my own pashmina with me but if you don’t have anything to cover with they supply blue or brown abayas to wear.
- Saturday to Thursday: 9 A.M. to 10 P.M
- Friday: 4:30 P.M. to 10 P.M.
If you’re visiting around the holy month of Ramadan and during Eid, do mind that these times are subject to change.
TIP: There are free tours everyday at certain times that usually run for an hour, I highly recommend this as, not only are they free, but they’re really informative. After the tour, you’re free to roam and explore for yourself! The times vary per day, so check the official website if you want to attend this!
ARCHITECTURE, HISTORY, AND DETAILS
When Sheikh Zayed envisioned this mosque, he wanted it to be visible from all directions so the Grand Mosque was built at around 11 metres above sea level! It took 11 years to complete. The mosque is also predominantly white, as this was one of the late Sheikh’s favourite colours.
Before entering the main prayer hall, you will be required to remove your footwear. The main prayer hall houses the largest carpet in the world, and also the largest dome belonging to a mosque. Also inside the hall, are seven chandeliers made of crystal and Swarovski crystals, which were shipped and made in Germany. I find the colours and crystals to be so enchanting that I always take my time just admiring the wonderful chandeliers.
Just how the main hall is grand in every aspect, the main courtyard doesn’t fall behind. The courtyard consists of over a 1,000 columns, and they are all hand-painted with gorgeous flowers. The floor is also made entirely of hand-painted marble from Italy. It’s so elegant and beautiful!
TIP: Don’t hesitate to go to the bathroom! A hidden surprise, a beautiful hand painted wall and area that is worth seeing before you leave the mosque.
I hope this inspires you to go to Abu Dhabi and behold this beautiful structure and place of worship. Not only is it a work of art but such a peaceful environment. That said, keep in mind that it is a place of worship and be respectful when you’re there.
This is by far my favourite and the most beautiful mosque that I have visited, the name doesn’t lie. Isn’t it Grand?