There are some things that deserve a special attention. While preparing one of our top lists we saw an amazing piece of art, and we couldn’t just list it, we had to make a special page for this place. Today, we are going to show you beautiful photos and some useful tourist information about a governor’s dream and, possibly, the Abu Dhabi’s main landmark. Today’s post is about the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Presenting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The mosque is one of the few around the world that the entrance of non-Muslims is allowed. It was idealized by the main force behind the creation of the United Arab Emirates, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (Arabic: زايد بن سلطان آل نهيان ; 6 May 1918 – 2 November 2004).
Among the largest mosques in the world, and some sources point to be the most expensive too, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has the capacity for 40,000 worshipers. It is an architectural work of art, featuring 82 domes, over a thousand columns, 24-carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. Talking about chandeliers, it also houses one of the world’s largest chandeliers: 10 meters in diameter (390 inches), 15 meters (590 inches) in height and weighing twelve tons!
About vision and design
The mosque wasn’t finished until Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s death. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was opened for worship in 2007 and today is his burial-place.
The Grand Mosque is located at the entrance to Abu Dhabi City Island and is well-recognized by its beautiful colors.
The pools along the mosque reflect its spectacular beauty, which becomes even more glorious at night when it’s lit.
The design of Sheikh Zayed Mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture and it was constructed using a great deal of noble materials (Natural materials such as marble stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals, and ceramics), by the hand of artisans and thousands of workers from many countries.
Useful Tourist Information
- If you are planning going there in a small group or alone you may walk through the mosque on your own without a guided tour and take photographs. You can also visit the library to gain greater understanding of Islamic architecture by browsing the many publications available;
- For guided tours, you can book the mosque’s live guided tours (in either English or Arabic). The standard tour duration is approximately 45 minutes;
- You can find more information on its official website here.
It’s also good to know
Opening hours: Unlike other mosques in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning, which is for worshipers only. The opening hours are 9am to 10pm (last entry at 9.30 pm) – Saturday to Thursday and 4.30pm to 10pm on Fridays.
Ramadan opening hours: During the Holy Month (which varies from year to year) the mosque is open daily, except Friday, from 9am to 2pm, with last entry at 1.30pm.
Photograph tip: While it’s a very good place for taking pictures at any time of the day, it’s locally known that the sunset (usually around 5pm) in the mosque is great. Get to the mosque half an hour before and choose your spot to take a beautiful photo.
For places to stay, you can check this link: Hotels near Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Staying in hotels like Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi and Shangri-La Hotel should provide a beautiful view of the mosque (as the one shown above) at any time of the day either sunrise or sunset.
References found on Visit Abu Dhabi website and on Wikipedia