The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the eighth largest mosque in the world and the largest in the United Arab Emirates.
Opened in the month of Ramadan in 2007, after 11 years of construction. It was named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Emir of Abu Dhabi. He was the First President of United Arab Emirates.
At this religious site, up to 40,000 worshipers can come together and pray.
And not only this number is surprising! As many other things in the Emirates, this mosque also breaks some records. Although it is not the largest in the world, there are some world records in some main elements of the mosque. For example, the main dome, which is over 32 meters in diameter is a real world record. Also, the more than 5,000 square foot large hand-knotted carpet or one of the 7 chandeliers, which was built in Munich.
If you are in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or the surrounding area, you should not miss this unique structure - it is a real wonder. Sheikh Zayid wanted to combine the culture of the Islamic world with the historical and modern architecture and art by the construction of the mosque.
It needed the work of 3,000 people from all over the world and the cost was a total of 545 million USD. Various types of marble, mother of pearl ornamentation, lots of gold foil and Swarovski crystals were used. Also, the largest carpet in the world was laid down here. 7 of the chandeliers were imported from Germany. The fact is that they were made with 24 carat gold and thousands of crystals were used as well.
There are seven pieces of such chandeliers in the Mosque. They are decorated with a lot of fine gold and crystals and when you actually look at them standing in the mosque, you will find that they are much more beautiful than in the pictures.
Furthermore, the many columns surround the large prayer hall and they are decorated with intricate patterns of mother of pearl and also in this hall you will find the largest ever carpet in the world. This was made with over 2 million knots! Over 1,200 people were needed to make the more than 5,600 square meter carpet.
In the Qibla wall, the 99 different names of Allah were put in.
These were just a few elements of the overwhelming impression the mosque makes.
Of course, as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an important religious place, there are strict dress codes.
Men have to wear long pants and refrain from wearing sleeveless T-shirts (normal T-shirts are ok).
Women must cover their hair with a headscarf or similar and both ankles and wrists must always be covered. Before entering the mosque, it is also possible to borrow an abaya, which is a long thin coat that also has a hood to cover the hair.
More about this you will find here.
Of course, there are some rules in a mosque that you have to adhere to in any case. Should you forget about something in the rules, you will be reminded in a polite way by the staff.
Before entering the mosque, you have to take off your shoes, sandals, etc., as is customary in mosques. You can enter the mosque barefoot or wearing socks or stockings. Long numbered shelves will help you later to find your shoes. Do not worry - your shoes will not disappear!
If we aroused your interest in visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi, here are a few tours for you. All these sightseeing tours include a visit to the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi.