Abu Dhabi / Travel

10 Fascinating Facts About the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

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.

Dezistyle9.  This was an AED 2.5 billion (more than half a billion USD) project beginning in 1996 and finishing in December 2007.

Dezistyle8.  There are 82 marble domes, designed with Moroccan influence.


7.  The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also the last resting place of the man himself, who passed away in 2004.

Dezistyle6.  Grand Mosque can accommodate up to 41,000 worshipers at once. The main hall alone can house up to 10,000 people!

Dezistyle5.  There are more than 1,000 columns made of inlaid marble panels donning floral designs with semi-precious stones and another 96 columns in the main prayer hall.

Dezistyle4.  Building materials were sourced from all around the world and include marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics.  

Dezistyle3.  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.


Discover more unique experiences in the UAE! Explore the magical Dubai Gardens or go Dune Bashing in the Al Hatta desert!

About Author

Mom, model, host, traveler and co-founder of Yourlixir superfoods! Life is an adventure and I'm here to share how our little family lives it with style - DeziStyle. • Health conscious travel & adventure •


  • Leilah Nicole
    March 31, 2015 at 10:05

    This is so incredible! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • DeziStyle
      March 31, 2015 at 14:18

      Thank you, Leilah! It was incredible to see in person, the pictures don’t quite do it enough justice.


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