‘A magnificent structure of marble, gold & hollow domes that symbolise peace and tolerance through Islamic eyes’
Known as the White Pearl of the Gulf, The Grand Mosque is a feast for the soul. Grand it is, the Sheikh Zhayed Grand Mosque took eleven years to build and is without a doubt not to be missed if you visit Abu Dhabi. We took a taxi in the morning from Dubai that took us about an hour and cost about 50 euros one way. Whatever your religion may be, this mosque is a work of art that deserves to be appreciated just from a visual point of view.
Not only is this the biggest mosque in the world, but it builds from beautiful detailing creating a whimsical aura to the space. It’s peaceful and silent with a presence that leaves the hairs on the arms standing. It is said that the inside details are inspired from Morocco, India, Algeria, and Pakistan. The leaves on top of the column are made from real gold and the decorations on them are made from semi precious stones such as white mother of pearl and jasper. Also the pure marble tiles of the main plaza, have the most amazing flower design that stretches through the space. The symmetrical throughout the archway hints at a Moorish style that makes it magical to photograph.
The mosque is named after the late president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who built the mosque to show Islam cultural diversity combined with modern art and architecture. The mosque was built with an ideology of “uniting the world“, hence it is made from material not just from the UAE. The marble is from Italy and Macedonia, the crystal chandeliers from Germany and the carpets from Iran and New Zealand.
When visiting the mosque, you must respect the culture by wearing proper attire. Women must be covered from head to toe, nothing skin-tight and hair covered with a scarf or burka. You are able to borrow a burka from the mosque if your attire proves to be inappropriate. Men must also wear long pants and proper shirts.