Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest one in United Arab Emirates is one of the main attractions in Abu Dhabi. Today, the Mosque, located along the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road (Airport Road), has become an important landmark of the city because of being the biggest place of worship in the country.
Yet, the mosque is also a tourist stop for many visitants of various faiths who seek to understand Islam and Muslims and come to admire its sheer size and the intricate craftsmanship of modern Islamic architecture.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Design and Construction: On a closer look, the Grand Mosque constructed between 1996 and 2007 and designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky –a project that was launched by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan whose final resting place is located on the grounds adjacent to the complex – features a combination of several different Islamic architectural styles with a total of 4 minarets and 82 domes of different sizes crowning the colossal building. The mosque is a combination of Mameluke, Ottoman and Fatamid design.
The mosque contains an immense courtyard with a line of pillars interconnected by arcs and is surrounded by garden areas, rows of palm trees and water pools. Beautiful from the outside, it is also incredible on the inside with its elegantly crafted chandeliers made from Swarovski crystals and the floor hall that is covered with more than 5,000 square meters of carpet. Surely, you’ll want to admire the archways, murals and see the mosque’s prayer halls.
The mosque is dedicated to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates. All are allowed into all areas of the mosque even if not Muslim. There are praying rooms for worshippers, especially during Islamic festivities like Eid, Ramadan or Friday prayers. Yet, it’s also a place to discover Islam through its extensive library as well as its educational cultural activities and visitor programs, which are organized on a regular basis by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC) offices. For info, visit the official website at https://www.szgmc.gov.ae/en/Home.
Yusef Abdelki’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi still remains a favorite landmark being a place to gather for prayers but also to study, celebrate festivals and admire the beauty of traditional Arab religious art.
To prepare for the visit, just make sure to wear proper, respectful clothing with trousers and no shorts. Women will need to also wear a veil and an abaya will be loaned at the entrance if needed. So, join those who annually visit the mosque to see how the vision of Sheikh Zayed has been realized.