The impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

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The impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a must-see when you are in the UAE. Dubai was the last stop on our world tour, so we had to make sure we visited Abu Dhabi – and while we were there we also didn’t miss the chance to spend a couple of days at Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld.

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Certainly if we’d had more time there we could’ve chosen other places to visit in this wealthy and arid destination.

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There was one small issue though. We chose a Friday to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, but what we didn’t realize was that on Fridays the Grand Mosque is closed till 4pm, which we found out when we got there.

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Family Travel Secret
On Friday mornings the Grand Mosque is closed to tourists and only opens for worship. It then reopens to the public at 4pm.

The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

We therefore had to find another way to entertain ourselves during the time we had to wait. We took a taxi to a nearby shopping mall, the Mushrif mall. We had a nice time there anyway and even purchased a 300 pieces puzzle for Noah.

 

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By 3:30 we were on our way back to the Grand Mosque again and when we got there the doors had just opened to visitors and there were some people waiting, although not a lot.

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We are in an Arabic country with a different culture and different clothing, so we had to adapt. That meant that Ruth had to wear clothes from head to toe for the visit. She had had to do the same on her visit to the Malacca Straits Mosque in Malaysia, so this was nothing new.

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As we didn’t have any documents on us she couldn’t choose one of the blue dresses for women and had to take a plain black one.

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Once we were inside the Mosque we realized how beautiful it was inside. We had passed it twice on the previous days when coming back from the theme parks and it looks beautiful at night with the lights on, but during the day and from the inside it is perhaps even more beautiful.

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Family Travel Secret
The construction of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi was requested by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, who wanted to provide an example of the tolerance and serenity of Islam, conveying an unbiased message of peace to all cultures, religions and nationalities around the world.

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Work started on the Grand Mosque in the 90s and it eventually opened in 2007, under the guidance of the current UAE leaders, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The large Mosque can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers in total at any one time, including 10,000 in the internal parts of the building.

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Colors contrast with the clean white marble, the atmosphere is peaceful and respectful, and tourists visit it in an orderly fashion. The visit doesn’t take long, but every minute is worthwhile and every corner has something beautiful to see. The luxurious architecture and spacious rooms and surroundings convey the opulence of this impressive landmark.

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The domes, the marble, the lunar illumination, the spotless clean carpets, the chandeliers, and every aspect of the artistic design is amazingly thought out and will impress anyone who takes the time to pay attention to the details.

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Family Travel Secret
At 5,700 square meters, the Grand Mosque houses the largest carpet in the world. It must’ve been some work to put it together in the Mosque. It was created and hand-knotted in parts by approximately 1,200 of the best carpet artisans. Made from 70% wool and 30% cotton over a 2-year project, the carpet was produced separately and taken in various parts to Abu Dhabi.

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We left just before dusk, when the colors were even more beautiful.

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Definitely an unmissable place in Abu Dhabi. After the visit we headed back to the hotel where we collected our stuff to go to the bus station for our ride to Dubai. Incidentally, the bus station was located just a few meters away from the hotel 🙂

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 Next stop, and the last one on our world trip (our first, but not our last…): Dubai!

Ruth

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