Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
If you’re in the UAE, The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque should absolutely be added to your bucket list! It’s an easy day trip from Dubai and well worth the hour drive. There’s plenty of culture, design and record-setting feats to uncover that make this mosque an magnificent place to explore. Added bonus: entry is completely free! Keep reading to discover 10 fascinating facts about the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Check for updates, pricing, hours and directions here before your visit.
Circumstances throughout the day prevented me from the mid-afternoon stroll I had originally planned on. Instead, I ended up exploring the grounds at dusk. I’ve come to learn that the best time to visit happens to be in the early morning or evening, as it can be quite hot throughout the day.
As I arrived, a stealthy crescent moon peeked out above the bulbous Moroccan inspired architecture like a beautiful lunar accent and glowed softly against a pale purple sky. The call to prayer suddenly came on and as the hypnotic cry drifted through the air and the wind gently twirled around my head scarf. I felt a great sense of peace come over me. The Grand Mosque is an incredible sight to see, meticulously handcrafted and breathtaking in every direction. Regardless of religion, there’s a level of artistry and respect unquestionably due to Sheikh Zayed and his team for constructing such a magnificent piece of cultural history. I learned a little something along my journey through the Grand Mosque and now, so can you. Here are 10 fascinating facts I learned about the Grand Mosque.
10 facts about the Grand Mosque
10. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the third largest mosque in the world. Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia being the two largest.
7. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also the last resting place of the man himself, who passed away in 2004.
3. Inside you will find the world’s largest chandelier, made of thousands of Swarovski crystals, stainless steel, 24 karat gold and brass, with the glasswork from Italy. It weighs an astonishing 12 tons!
2. Once inside you’ll notice the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet, designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi and hand crafted by 1,300 artisans. The carpet was designed in 8 months, took a year to knot and 2 months to transport and assemble amongst 1,200 workers.
1. A unique lighting system gradually changes with the phases of the moon to become lighter as the moon becomes full, making for a breathtaking backdrop.