A Masterpiece in the Desert
Other than for the Grand Prix and Ferrari world of course, Abu Dhabi is a must visit purely for this iconic landmark, The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
We were passing through Dubai and a fellow traveller told us about this beautiful work of art. After a good old google search, we were adamant on visiting. Being only an hour away we got on the road to Abu Dhabi the next morning and it was definitely worth it.
As soon as we pulled up to this white marble masterpiece we knew we were in for a treat. Being a mosque we remembered to bring head scarves and long loose clothing but we were ushered down to the basement to a dressing room where you can borrow hooded abeyyas and kanduras for free. To be honest this was definitely part of the fun, we felt like we were about to enter Hogwarts. Up the stairs we went, dressed as Wizards we were free to roam the perfectly manicured gardens and made our way into the mosque. Boasting more than 80 white marble domes, over 1000 pillars and four 107m high Minarets, this really is a powerful piece of architecture. The Mosque can hold up to 41,000 worshippers. You are welcome to visit seven days a week except prayer time but even then you can still wander around the gardens so it's not so restricting. Just make sure you stay covered up.
This is definitely on our Four Things Hot List, if you are planning a trip to the UAE make sure you go see it. You only need an hour or so visiting and you won't be dissapointed!
The Four Facts
1 It took 11 years and 2 Billion Dirhams (£373 million) to build
2 Rihanna got thrown out in 2013 for posing in a provocative way for a photograph.
3 It has the third largest chandelier in the world at 10m diameter and 15m height dripping in millions of Swarovski crystals
4 Built with over 100,000 tons of pure white Greek and Macedonian marble, Inlaid with semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone, jasper and mother-of-pearl
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located off Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed St, Abu Dhabi
+971 2 4191919
Opening Hours 9am-10pm Sat-Thu, 4.30-10pm Fri, tours 10am, 11am & 5pm Sun-Thu