Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The largest mosque in the country, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers.
The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007. It was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky.
The majestic architecture of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which can be seen from each of the bridges joining Abu Dhabi to the mainland, gives an impressive welcome to anyone visiting this magnificent place.
It was his Highness, the founder and first President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who conceived the idea and chose the location and took substantial influence on the architecture and the design of the mosque. As he wished for, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also the last resting place for him, who passed away in 2004.
Interesting facts about the mosque:
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the the third largest mosque in the world – after the ones in Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia.
- A total of 82 domes belong to the mosque.
- Some 41,000 worshippers can be accommodated in the mosque, 7,126 in the main prayer hall. You can have the idea of its area even better if you have visited Jama Masjid, Delhi. Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque has the capacity to accommodate 25000 worshippers at a time.
- Verses from the Holy Quran are written in three types of Arabic calligraphy.
- Another astonishing feature of the mosque is the over 5,625 square meter large carpet in the main prayer hall. It has been hand-knotted by about 1,300 Iranian craftsmen out of 35 tons of wool and 12 tons of cotton. With a total of 2, 268, 00 knots, the carpet is the largest in the world. Its estimated value is about 30 million. The carpet is dominated by green colour.
Visitor tips – very important to know before you’re going!
- The visitors are expected to wear long, loose-fitting, ankle-length trousers or skirts, long sleeves and a headscarf for women. If not you can borrow, hooded abeyyas and kanduras there for free. Soooo, what you basically need to know is that the abayas (I see everybody write it that way and guess what – it’s easierrrrr) come in three colors: moderate blue, rosewood nude tone and black. It has some kind of a cape already on it so you won’t need an extra scarf.
- Nevertheless, I recommend to bring your own Abaya, or make something out of a midi dress/skirt with a scarf by yourself, because this abaya that they give you to everybody doesn’t look pretty. Took me so so much patience to make it look good in pictures – although I loved the pink color. Watch out that your own clothes cover your ankles or even better – touch the ground, because otherwise they will make you wear their trousers underneath or completely take their abaya.
- It can be really crowded. Bring a long of patience if you want to take pictures.
- To enter the main hall you will be needed to leave your shoes along with everybody else.
- There are corridors leading to women’s and men’s praying rooms that can be used anytime.
- A few times a day there will be a free guided tour, its every full or every two hours.
- After sunrise, the mosque lights up in golden and blue colors! So worth it!
- If you’re staying in Dubai and asking yourself weather it’s worth it seeing it or not I would always say yes! Historically and architecturally it’s just an important monument to see if you are that close. It’s probably around 1 hour 20 minutes by car from Dubai – you could also take an uber, a bus or a organized trip.
- The entrance is free of charge and there is a huge free parking area, wow, right?
To capture the splendid beauty of the mosque, a sunset tour is advisable, a wonderful time to take photos, to chill out.