Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Abu Dhabi - Al Rawdah - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
|⏰ Opening Hours
9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands as a monumental beacon of Islamic culture and an architectural marvel at the heart of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. It's not only one of the largest mosques in the world but also a place where the cultural diversity of the Islamic world blends seamlessly with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. The mosque is a place of solace, worship, and sublime beauty, attracting visitors from all over the globe, regardless of their cultural backgrounds or spiritual beliefs.
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The mosque's striking white structure is accentuated by the reflective pools that flank its exterior, enhancing its glory both during the day and at night. Its 82 domes, over a thousand columns, 24-carat gold gilded chandeliers, and the world's largest hand-knotted carpet all contribute to its breathtaking grandeur. When you step onto its premises, the serenity and magnificence envelop you, offering a unique blend of spirituality and artistic expression.
History of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is intimately linked with the man whose name it bears, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first President of the United Arab Emirates. His vision was to create a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. Construction began in 1996 and took nearly 12 years to complete, officially opening to the public in December 2007.
With over 3,000 workers and 38 contracting companies from around the world, the mosque was crafted using materials sourced from various countries, including Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece, and the UAE itself. This international collaborative effort embodies Sheikh Zayed's vision of global harmony and cooperation.
Why is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Important?
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque holds immense significance not only as a place of religious worship but also as a cultural and national icon for the UAE. It symbolizes the socio-cultural progress of the nation and serves as a bridge connecting people from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, the mosque reflects the opulent and forward-thinking ethos of Abu Dhabi while maintaining a respectful nod to the Islamic heritage and artistry.
The mosque also embodies the late Sheikh Zayed's dream of promoting religious tolerance and understanding among different communities. This is evident in the mosque's open-door policy, welcoming visitors of all faiths to tour its facilities and learn about Islam, fostering a climate of respect and curiosity. Here, you'll find a living tribute to the heritage of the UAE and the spirit of inclusivity cherished by its people.
Things to Do & See at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque offers a multitude of experiences and a treasure trove for the senses. One of the first things you'll notice is the grandeur of the architecture – you could spend hours just admiring the beautiful domes, pillars, and archways, all intricately decorated with geometric Islamic patterns and designs. The decorative work features semi-precious stones and ceramics of magnificent artistry, which adorn the mosque's expansive walls and ceilings.
A must-see attraction within the mosque is the colossal prayer hall, which houses the world's largest chandelier and carpet. The carpet alone took around two years to complete and was crafted by over 1,200 artisans. It's not just the scale that's impressive, but the incredible detail; the carpet is rich with traditional Islamic motifs and was designed to perfectly complement the interior design of the mosque.
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Guided tours are available and are the best way to understand the mosque's history, architecture, and function fully. They offer deep insights and often share lesser-known facts that enrich the visitor's experience. Beyond the main building, the surrounding courtyards and gardens are equally meticulous in design, offering quiet spots for reflection. Moreover, the Experience Centre welcomes those who wish to deepen their understanding of the mosque's spiritual and cultural significance.
Finally, no visit is complete without witnessing the mosque during different times of the day. The transformation from daylight to nighttime is a vision to behold as the lighting system, designed to reflect the phases of the moon, bathes the mosque in hues that gently shift from soft blues to vibrant golds, illuminating the architectural masterpiece in its full glory.