Sheikh Zayed Grande Mosque in Abu Dhabi, also called The Grande Mosque is considered to be the key for worship in the country. The mosque is a must visit if you are in the area of Abu Dhabi or Dubai, so of course we headed out from Oberoi in the hotel limosine to visit the Mosque. After a drive of about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Dubai we arrived at the vast parking lots.
As the mosque is a very religious place, think about your attire when you go here. Most female visitors will still have to wear a traditional abaya, and this is very you have to stay tuned. Because before ou enter the area of the mosque, you must go downstairs in the basement, where you free of charge can borrow a abaya to wear during the visit. Just leave a id card in exchange while staying in the mosque. Very easy and simple. Properly dressed we where ready to enter the mosque.
The first thing you will see, is the very subtle landscaping around the huge buildings, streaching 290 by 420 meters. Sheikh Zayed Grande Mosque is the biggest in the country and can be visited by more than 40.000 people during Eid. Besides being a key place of worship, the mosque also has a big library and a center of learning and discovery through its educational activities and visitor programmes.
The buildings was raised between 1996 and 2007, with over 3.000 workers and 38 renewed contrators took part in the construction, and the main contractor was the italian company Impregilo. The Mosque has manu special and unique elements; The Carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the worlds largest carpet made by Iran’s Carpet Company and designed by Ali Khaliqi, an Iranian artist. The artist measures 5.627 kvm and was made by 1.200 – 1.300 carpet knotters. Above the carpet hangs seven imported chandliers from Faustig, Germany made of millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest of these is 10 meters in diameter and 15 meters high. Walking around in the building, you will keep getting impressed by the details and craftmanship behind this, and if you visit during nighttime you might notice that the light is designed so it reflects the phases of the moon. No wonder the building cost 545 million USD.
We would recommend a visit to the Mosque, if you would like to see these beautiful buildings and get a little away from the flashy shoppingcenters in Dubai. You can combine the visit with a walk at Yas Marina circuit and have a coffee at the Viceroy hotel.