Sheikh Zayed Mosque- An archetectural masterpiece

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UAE is well-known for its architectural feat. Apart from the skyscrapers, the design of the mosques is alluring and stands testimony to the architectural excellence of the country. Culture and elegance meet at the mosques in the UAE, and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques here.

It is located in Abu Dhabi and is the central tourist attraction to this day. Just like the name denotes, it is a grand mosque with luxury evident in every nook and cranny along with the massive size.

Sheikh Zayed mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and will attract all eyes at first glance. The mosque looks stunning in glossy white with numerous domes. Its design was inspired by the Persian and Mughal architecture. The pillars of the mosque are embellished with golden designs contributing to its flamboyant appearance. It took 11 years to complete the mosque.

Everyone who visits UAE often includes it in their bucket list. Apart from its beauty, the mosque traces the incredible traditions in Islam. Another advantage is that you will have free entry along with guided tours. The mosque is open to all, so non-Muslims can enter without a second thought.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first ruler of the UAE. The mosque is the result of his vision and epitomizes the Islamic message of peace, tolerance, and diversity. His burial space is located right next to the mosque. 

There are enough reasons to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and you cannot stop taking pictures as every detail is picture-perfect and mesmerizing. So, let’s see the distinct features of the grand mosque that made it popular around the world.

The unique architecture

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located at the entrance to Abu Dhabi City Island. It can be seen from the three main bridges that connect the island to the mainland- the Maqta, Mussafah, and the Sheikh Zayed Bridge. The mosque is built with SIVEC marble from Macedonia. The white color was chosen as a symbol of purity.

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There are 82 domes of different sizes, with the largest being located in the center of the main prayer hall. You will see the numerous windows that allow natural light to enter the prayer halls.

The magnificent architecture is complemented with exquisite lighting to heighten the aesthetic beauty of the mosque. The lighting of the grand mosque is connected to the lunar cycle. The mosque will look resplendent at full moon then shift color throughout the moon cycle.

The changes in color as per the undulating clouds is achieved with a unique lighting system. The church will become bluer as the moon gets smaller.

The main prayer hall has the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. It is a blend of wool and carpet, and the carpet was hand-crafted by around 12000 artisans. Never forget to step into the prayer hall and have a peek at the enormous carpet that took two years to complete.

Halls and foyers look elegant with the dazzling chandeliers. The largest one among them weighs around 12 tons. They are made of gilded stainless steel and gilded brass. They are decorated with glass panels and Swarovski crystals.

The reflective pools that surround the mosque reflect its arcades and designs, which become more splendid with the lighting in the dark. Numerous columns in the arcade will attract your eyes for sure. They are made of white marble panels and decorated with precious and semi-precious stones like red agate, amethyst, and mother of pearls.

Their design resembles the date palms in Arabia. The courtyard at Grand Mosque spans up to 17400 square meters and can accommodate 31000 worshippers.

World records

The grand mosque proudly holds two world records that lure tourists from around the world. They are:

  • The world’s largest handmade carpet which is 5627 square meters
  • The largest chandelier in the world

Guided tours at Grand Mosque

A piece of great news for the visitors to Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque is that it offers free guided tours to visitors. With this, the visitors get a chance to visit the mosque with a professional guide who explains the architecture, culture, and traditions of the mosque. The 45-minute guided tour is provided in English and Arabic languages.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque dress code

What to wear when visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque? The mosque has a strict dress code. Ladies should cover their body parts and also their hair. Sleeveless tops and anything shows off your body is not allowed inside. Don’t worry if your dressing is not acceptable for security. The traditional dress of Islam called Abaya is available at the mosque, which you can wear. If you would like to capture some photos wearing your favorite dresses, make sure that they are modest.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque location

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is situated between the three main bridges connecting Abu Dhabi City to the mainland (Maqta, Mussafah, and Sheikh Zayed bridges). The most expensive and easiest option for those who are going from Dubai is to take a taxi. It will cost you a minimum of AED 300 depending on your location.

You can find buses at Al Ghubaiba Station in Bur Dubai. It will take around 2 hours, and the cost is AED 25. You should go by taxi or bus from the Abu Dhabi bus station to the mosque. Another great way is to book a city tour with a tour company. Abu Dhabi city tour includes Sheikh Zayed Mosque and you can visit it without any troubles.

Best time to visit the mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is spectacular at both dawn and dusk. However, considering the hot climate, you can visit in the morning or evening in summer. The photographers might love to visit in the evening as they can capture the magnificence in the golden hour.

If you want to see the distinct lighting, you should go in the evening. Though the mosque can be crowded on Friday, you won’t feel even a bit uncomfortable as the giant structure can accommodate thousands of people at a time.

Visiting hours

Saturday to Thursday- 9 am- 10 pm

Friday – 4.30 pm – 10 pm

During Ramadan:

Saturday to Thursday – 9 am – 3 pm

Friday- closed Mosques in the UAE demonstrate architectural brilliance, luxury, and incredible culture. Make sure that you visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which is a majestic m