Address: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street، – 5th St – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 9:00am – 10:00pm, Friday 9:00am – 12:00pm, 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Official Website: szgmc.gov.ae
I’ve seen some of the most beautiful structures in the world, but I’ve never seen one as beautiful as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
To be honest, I don’t have words to describe it. You must see it at least once in your life.
In the morning, it is a wall of white. But at night, the Mosque is otherworldly. Its opulence is unparalleled.
I’m neither an atheist nor religious — I used to be, but not anymore. But the late President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, proves what is needed in the world. Simply put, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was constructed to unite everyone despite cultural differences and religious beliefs. And that purpose is so apparent, as you so many world leaders from the late Queen Elizabeth to Vatican’s Pope Francis visiting the Grand Mosque.
But you don’t really need to be religious to be inspired by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is a work of love. The minarets are Arabic in architecture, while the archways are Moorish. There are 7 chandeliers, all made with Swarovski crystals. Columns in the main prayer hall are made with mother of pearls. The notable feature in the Grand Mosque is the carpet in the hall, with over 2 billion knots. The prayer hall is only for worshippers, so you cannot go inside and take photos.
For ladies, keep in mind you need to wear an abaya. Your hair must be covered. Everything must be covered from head to toe. No transparent clothing and sleeveless tops. If you find yourself in that conundrum, there is an underground mall beside the Mosque where you can purchase an abaya for about AED 50. If you want something adorned, it’ll be at least AED 100.
For men, wear pants and a shirt, and you’ll be fine.
When taking photos, no religious symbols, peace hand gestures, nothing. Please observe respect when at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.