The Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

October 08, 2014

Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must see tourist destination in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Since my sister-in-law is here on vacation, we made it sure that she won't miss this main attraction.  Good thing Monday was declared a non-working holiday in government offices (Ronnie didn't have to go to work) so we got the chance to tour her around the Grand Mosque.  However, the climate was too hot, you would find it difficult to enjoy roaming around to explore the entire place.  So I would suggest for you to visit this place during the winter season (November to February) when the weather is pretty much colder.

The Grand Mosque is a huge architecture which is very visible from the three main bridges of Abu Dhabi (Maqta, Mussafah, and Shiekh Zayed bridge).  So if you happen to be driving along any of these bridges, it is almost impossible for you not notice it.

This tourist attraction is open to the public for free but it is very important to abide by the mosque's rules and regulations especially in terms of dress code.  Men and women are required to wear long, loose-fitting, ankle length trousers or skirts.  In addition women must also wear a headscarf to cover their hair and neck.  However, in case a security officer find your attire inappropriate, you will be asked to wear an abaya (for women) or kandura (for men).  These cloaks can be borrowed for free but you will be asked to provide a valid ID which will only be given back to you once you have returned the borrowed item.
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The mosque looks stunningly elegant with its pure white domes with onion shaped crowns in gold.  The floor looks equally great as well in white marble with several floral design.  This place of worship is also extremely spacious, having the capacity to accommodate up to 10,000 people indoor and 30,000 people outdoor.    Several shoe racks can also be found outside the main entrance because people will be required to take off their shoes prior to entering the mosque.

Moving in, you will be greeted by several gigantic chandeliers studded with Swarovski crystals hanging on the domes' ceiling that features traditional Moroccan design.  The interior of the mosque was designed with Islamic ornamentation and several relief carvings of verses taken from the Holy Quran.  They also have here the world's largest hand made carpet which measures 5,700 square meters in size.  The inside of the mosque can be described as a vast empty space which was elaborately designed to spell elegance and sophistication.

Aside from the beautiful structure of the mosque that serves as a very good subject for photography, you will also find a well manicured garden and several fountains within the vicinity.  You will also find here the place where Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first UAE president, was buried.  However, it is strictly implemented that photography is not allowed in this part of the mosque.

The Grand Mosque is open for tourism from Saturday to Thursday 9am to 10pm and Friday from 4:30pm to 11pm.  Come and visit this place to discover more of the Islamic culture.

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