On a day trip to Abu Dhabi, my family visited the amazing and world famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
According to the locals, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan’s dream, where he established its general vision and thus began a journey full of fulfilled dreams and achievements. The Mosque is an expression of a leader who believed that nothing is impossible and conceived that the most gracious achievements start from the heart.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was opened for worship in 2007, after work began in the nineties. The Late Sheikh Zayed set the foundation stone of the Grand Mosque but it was ultimately completed under the guidance of the UAE President, his brother the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, and under the supervision of the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The Mosque features four minarets and eighty-two domes in support of noble Islamic cultural values. The Mosque accommodates more than 40,000 worshippers; 10,000 inside and 30,000 outside. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is well known for its diverse Islamic architecture and pure white color. White marble makes up the outside walls and columns, and features carvings of verses from Holy Quran and Islamic ornamentation.
According to the decree, theSheikh Zayed Grand Mosque aims to:
1. Emphasize on the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s noble deeds and contributions to humanity, in a way that commemorates his legacy and memory.
2. Cooperate with research centers as well as religious, educational and cultural institutions.
3. Enhance cross cultural communication and introduce the Center as a cultural tourism destination.
Upon entering the grounds of the mosque, visitors must adhere to a strict dress code. Women must be covered to the wrists, the ankles, as well as all hair on the head. I was advised by our guide to buy an abayat (a simple, loose dress, worn by some women in parts of the Muslim world. Traditional abayat are black and may be either a large square of fabric draped from the shoulders/head or a long caftan).
Let me know what you think of the mosque! I absolutely loved my experience there and wish I could have stayed longer. It’s a stunning piece of architecture and I recommend anyone should visit!