Certainly its the most beautiful Mosque that I have ever seen ! its not just a mosque its a piece of art right in the city of Abu Dhabi, UAE ! that brings you the art of many nations all in one place ! to be honestvisiting the mosque wasn’t on my list but after looking for what’s not to miss on TripAdvisor there it was the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque ! all I had to do is ask the concierge at my hotel Fairmont Bab AlBahr on how to get there …surprisingly my hotel and the hotels near by provide a complementary pick up and drop off at some of Abu Dhabi attractions including Sheikh Zayed Mosque ! wow ! I just love these kind of services 😛 so I was asked to be at the lobby early morning I guess at 8 am ! I was so excited that I woke up early that day had my breakfast then hoped the bus ! upon arrival at the mosque whcih took less than 10 minutes , our driver asked us to be at the same spot for pick up at a certain time ! The thing you need to know before you take the tour now with me 🙂 is that they started building the mosque back in 1996 and opened in 2007 and yet as I was told its not completed ! The place has alot to see but I didn’t have enough time 🙁
At the enterance a young local lady ( Emarati ) welcomed us and informed us that there will be a special tour around the mosque and its up to us if we like to go around or just join the group tour but before she asked the visitors on how important to respect religious places by wearing something desent clothes and also by avoiding some behaviours while at the mosque 🙂 So first I had to go to the Ladies dressing room, where all female visitors to the mosque are supposed to cover their heads with a traditional Hijab ( a scarve to cover the hair )and dressed in Abayah ( a long black dress that some muslims ladies wear ) also I’ve seen the mens dressing room …the once wearing shorts are given a traditional deshdasha … As for me I’m already wearing A hijab ! but I was asked to wear Abayah too 🙂 I had some moments to go around the mosque before joining the tour guide
There goes the amazing tour with the first highlight …with the lights of the mosque ! this place has to be visited during daylight and at night ! as I was advised if I have time, the lightening system is unique ! its programmed with the moon ! in some way or another it is affected by thephases of the moon and thats how the lightening levels goes on every night ! Interesting !and for the pools that are around the mosque from one side, are there to reflect the shape of the mosque ! this place is definatly a unique monument !
As for the photo below with pure white creek marbles that resembles the lovely palms of the UAE since they have approximately 40 million palm tree … and let’s not forget the indian style domes! there are many dome in the hallways ( the small ones) of the mosque but each dome has different calligraphy !
It was really interesting how most of the foreign visitors had so many questions regarding Islam and our guide was so informative and kind enough to answer all questions about Muslims and Islam ! for example some asked about why does each prayer have 2 calls ! never thought that they notice that 🙂 and questions about our traditional clothes ! eid rituals !
The mosque has big outdoor area that is used for prayers usually on Eid, because thousands of people head to Sheikh Zayed Mosque to preform Eid prayers and the main Hall gets full ! during islamic occasions the Mosque is almost filled with 41 thousands ! if you count the indoor halls and the outdoor space too !
Now let’s move to the Courtyard ! its just the enterance to the main and minor Halls of the Mosque ! why the its called Courtyard ?its suppose to resemble the beauty of the gardens in Al Jannah ! filled with marble flowers that can be found in the gulf region and other places of the world ! Which were designed by the English artist Kevin Dean !! amazing work he did by traveling to 30 different countries just to bring all the flowers design you see on the walls and floors !
To be a great traveler or a tourist above all you should respect the religion of the country you’re visiting ! loved how all the visitors wore the Abayah and the Hejab with a big smile on their face 🙂
Now Let’s move to the Halls ! first we took a tour at one of the minor prayer halls of the mosque which is usually used for daily prayers ! has a beautiful colorful carpet that is made in Thailand ! as for the Ceiling it all Moroccan Deisgn …. and there was that Clock on the wall that has all the prayers times …Loved how groups gathered so well ! loved how they offered all for free 😛 no addmission fees ! all you have to do is be there and catch the tour and learn about the mosque and Islam 🙂
Now to the Main Hall that is covered with the largest carpet in the world ! 1200 iranian ladies worked on this marvelous carpet ! that made 9 large pieces that took later 3 months only to join them together ! it weights about 35 tons ! As for the Chandelier it used to be the largest in the world but not anymore …I still see its a unique piece ! made of German Swarovski crystals that wieghts about 9 tons !
The Columns are clad with marble and inlaid with mother pearl !
I loved how the 99 names of Allah ( God ) are featured in the Qibla wall in traditional Kufi Calligraphy ! The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting which was designed by UAE calligrapher – Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi
There are more to learn about that place ! our guide told us that it has a library too ! all the information above was provided from the tour guide ! I was so proud that local emarati guys and ladies were working in the Mosque ! was noting everything he said in my iphone ! I know I missed alot ! that’s why the next time I’m in Abu Dhabi for sure I’m going again to that amazing Mosque !