Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

I have lived here long enough (close to 6 months) to realize that Dubai and Abu Dhabi tend to do things in a big way.  And this “Grand” mosque is no exception.

This masterpiece is one of the largest and most beautiful architectural places of worship in the world.

While I am spiritually inclined to St. Peter’s Basilica, I made it a point to see this.

Seeing it from afar you will already appreciate its immaculate whiteness contrasting Mother Nature‘s blue skies.

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This mosque is not only a place of worship, but a place of information and education as well. Non-muslims are allowed to enter except on Friday mornings.  Before you go inside their holy place, you will be required to wear an abaya and a tarha for ladies and for men in shorts, a thobe/kandura/dishdasha.

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I visited this mosque twice.

My first visit was with my sister, about 2 years ago during a holiday in October.

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One of this Grand Mosque’s very distinct features is the white marble that is vastly used, symbolizing purity and piety.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque houses imported chandeliers from Germany that include millions of Swarovski crystals.

The main prayer hall has the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet.  This beautiful green 21,325-square-foot  carpet took about 2 years to create.

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The place felt very spiritual, immediately giving me a sense of peace and calm.  The quiet ambience also allowed us to appreciate the mosque’s stunning surroundings and beautiful interiors.

The second time I visited, with my little family and in-laws, was just last month.  It was busier this time.  Our visit just before dinner made me see the mosque in a different light.   In the evening soft bluish gray lights fill the domes, marbles light up and showcase its design, and the black night seems to darken against this huge white dwelling.

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Whether during the day or at night, Muslim or not, this place has been one of the most popular ones to see in the region.  If you are in Abu Dhabi or even in Dubai, a visit is a must.

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