The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is undoubtedly Abu Dhabi’s star attraction, a symbol of grandeur and magnificence. Its glistening white exterior, akin to a palace in the clouds, is sure to beckon you inside.
Embodying the vision of UAE’s founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the mosque reflects architectural designs from different Islamic civilisations. The architects originated from Britain, Italy, and UAE, while designs from Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco were incorporated.
Inside the mosque
Take a break from your desert adventures and venture inside the mosque to discover beautiful works of art. They include 1096 amethyst and jasper-embedded columns, 82 white marble domes, gold-plated Swarovski chandeliers, and a life-size marble mosaic artwork. Whether you’re based in the city or at a desert resort such as Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, a visit to the mosque should not be missed.
While being one of the largest mosques in the world, accommodating more than 50,000 people daily, it also displays the globe’s largest hand-woven carpet. It also houses the 3rd most enormous chandelier globally.
Things to know
Ensure you respect local customs by wearing loose-fitting/long clothing when visiting the mosque. Women will be required to don an abaya and a headscarf, while shoes must be removed before entering. Avoid public displays of affection. Visiting hours are between 9am to 10pm daily, excluding Friday mornings. There is no entry fee, and the mosque conducts free tours daily.