Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

I just came back from a short work trip in Dubai and on this occasion, I had the opportunity to stay few days in Abu Dhabi. I was so happy to finally visit the incredible Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque and tick off my list this magical monument.

This large mosque was named after the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan AlNahyan. He wanted to build this mosque to show the diversity of Islam with its modern architecture.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky. The Mosque has a combination of Mamluk, Ottoman and Fatimid styles. Its design represents the diverse Islamic world into this beautiful Art. It is a truly impressive building with a magnificent display of craftsmanship. Over 3,000 workers and 38 contracting companies participated in the mosque’s construction, which took more than ten years.

Inside the domes features traditional Moroccan artwork and Swarovski Crystal chandeliers. I personally prefer the architecture than the interiors but it is still a very impressive design.

For its contribution to the project, Iran offered a handwoven carpet for the mosque’s main prayer room, a fitting recognition of the rich history of carpet weaving in the region. It is primarily Green which was the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan AlNahyan favourite colour and surrounded by yellow carpet which represents the sand of Abu Dhabi.

As in every mosque, you have to dress modestly as a sign of respect for a religious place, with long sleeves and pants or long dresses and if you are a woman, you should cover your hair. It is forbidden to enter with shorts, sleeveless shirts, tight clothes … If you are not prepared, there are some abayas that you can borrow to enter the mosque. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is without a doubt a must-see when you visit Abu Dhabi.

I would highly recommend visiting the mosque by the end of the day, around 5 pm, when the temperatures are coming down and you can catch the sunset and experience both of the day and night senary.

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