Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, is a destination that boasts of rich cultural heritage and modern marvels. Among its many iconic landmarks stands one that attracts millions of visitors every year – The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This architectural masterpiece is not just a place of worship but also a symbol of Islamic art and culture. With its grandeur and beauty, it’s no surprise why this mosque has become an essential stop for tourists visiting Abu Dhabi. Join us as we take you on a journey exploring the history, significance, and what to expect when visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque!
History of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a breathtaking architectural marvel that has become one of the most iconic landmarks in Abu Dhabi. Its construction was commissioned by the late president of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to create a mosque that would reflect Islamic architecture and culture.
Construction for this magnificent mosque began in 1996 and took over ten years to complete. The overall design was inspired by Persian, Mughal, and Moorish architectural styles with modern elements incorporated into its features.
The main prayer hall of the mosque boasts grandeur with its intricate floral designs from floor to ceiling meticulously crafted from marble and adorned with precious stones like gold, mother-of-pearl, crystal, and semi-precious gems.
The exterior boasts four minarets standing at an impressive height of over 100 meters tall each. These minarets symbolize Islam’s pillars – faith (iman), prayer (salat), charity (zakat) and fasting during Ramadan (sawm).
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands as a testament to Islamic artistry preserving traditional craftsmanship while incorporating contemporary design concepts which makes it a must-visit destination when visiting Abu Dhabi!
What to Expect When Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an experience unlike any other. From its impressive architecture to its serene surroundings, this mosque offers visitors a unique glimpse into Islamic culture and history.
When you arrive at the mosque, be prepared for a security screening before entering. Modest dress is required, with women having to cover their hair and arms, while men must wear long pants. The mosque provides abayas (long robes) and kanduras (traditional Emirati attire) for those who need them.
As you walk through the vast marble courtyard towards the main prayer hall, take in the stunning architectural details around you. The intricate carvings on each of the four minarets are enough to leave anyone awestruck.
Inside the main prayer hall lies one of the largest chandeliers in the world made from Swarovski crystals. It’s truly breathtaking! The carpet beneath your feet is also something special; it’s one of the largest hand-knotted carpets in existence!
Don’t forget to visit Qibla Wall which has 99 names of Allah written on it using Kufic calligraphy – so beautiful!
Visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque offers an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever.
Tips for Visiting The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an experience that will stay with you forever. It’s a place where you can admire the beauty of Islamic architecture, learn about Emirati culture and history, and appreciate the grandeur of one of the world’s largest mosques.
If you’re planning to visit this magnificent mosque anytime soon, keep in mind these tips:
1. Dress appropriately – Wear clothes that cover your shoulders, arms, and legs. Women must wear a headscarf too.
2. Follow the rules – Respect their traditions by following all their rules such as removing your shoes before entering or not taking photos during prayer time.
3. Take a guided tour – A guided tour from knowledgeable staff will give you insight on everything about this beautiful masterpiece
4. Plan accordingly- Check online for opening hours since they change throughout the year
5. Stay hydrated- Bring water bottles because it gets hot outside
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is worth visiting if only once in Abu Dhabi; it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience!