When the travel bug bit me a few years ago, I knew that I would be making a trip to the UAE. How could I not, it’s the new Middle East.

Of course, I thought it would be all about Dubai, but, to be perfectly honest, Dubai underwhelmed me. I felt like I was in North America. Surprisingly enough, Abu Dhabi was the total highlight for me. While equally developed, just like Dubai, I felt like this Emirate had more character and an authentic feel to it.

One of the top items on my bucket list that I wanted to conquer was, visiting and praying at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. And now I can say…Check!

A little history about the mosque is;

  • It was initiated by the late president of the UAE,  Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His goal was to institute a complex that would unite the Islamic world and all of its cultural diversity.  
  • The North side holds a mausoleum that serves as the Sheikh’s final resting place.
  • The mosque has the capacity to hold up to 40,000 people at one time. The main prayer hall can hold 7,000 people and the 2 smaller prayer halls can hold 1,500 people each; one being for women only. 

 

Millions of visitors visit the mosque each yeah and regardless of religion, everyone has to adhere to the same mosque etiquette, which is as follows; 

 

  • Everyone MUST be covered. Meaning, for men, long pants and shirts to the elbow, absolutely No shorts. Women, must be covered completely, hair included…muslim or not. If you do not have the appropriate attire, they have it to rent. 
  • No smoking
  • No food or drinks
  • Cell phones must be turned off
  • No lewd behavior which includes but is not limited to; 
    • Loud talking
    • Profanity 
    • Exposing body parts
    • excessive posing for pictures

 

If you do not abide by these rules, you will be asked to leave and/or be escorted out. And, that would really be a shame because this place is extraordinary and miraculous. The architecture is so stunning, it compels you to keep looking at it and snapping pictures. We were there for hours. While I was the only one planning to pray, the other ladies were just as enthralled. If I had to describe the feeling, it was comparable to being 5 years old, first time at Disney World, riding through the “It’s a Small World” ride…just magical.

 

One

Mosque Entrance

 Upon entering the structure, you go through a search procedure, a pat down and metal detector. 

 

Tour

Mosque pool

General visiting hours are from 9am – 10pm Saturday – Thursday and 4:30pm -10pm on Friday. However, they are open for Friday morning Jummah Prayer services. There are daily guided tours that last about 45-60 minutes, done on a walk-in basis, but, must be booked in advance if your party exceeds 8 people.

The girls @ the Mosque

Girls at the mosque 2Our epic selfie courtesy of CCP the Selfie Assassin!

 

The inside of the Mosque and it’s ornate decor…

Ceilingandlighting

The ceiling…painted with 24k gold leaf

 

inside

One of the prayer halls

 

names

99 attributes (names) of Allah (God)

 

For prayer…

Abolution

The ablution rooms are for cleansing for prayer. They can’t be photograph for obvious reasons but, are beautiful. 

 

Prayer Times

A clock with prayer times, they change each day. There are 5 mandatory prayer times per day. The morning prayer in this case, is 4:43 am, but, you have until 6:08 am to make it. The rest of the times are exact. I was able to make the Maghrib prayer, which is the 4th prayer of the day at 6:28 pm.

 

When I came out of prayer, the sun was setting and this is what I saw…

Mosque at Dusk

 

Lastly, this…

Mosque Slide

If you are in the UAE, this is a must see. It’s less than 2 hours travel time from any other Emirate and 4 hours from Qatar. The admission is free and no matter what religion you are, this place is a blessing. You can thank me later.

For more information, http://www.szgmc.ae/en/

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One comment on “Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Abu Dhabi, UAE

  1. Tout ça c bien beau, mais depuis le temps que l’on dé rembourse les médicaments, que l’on prélève sur chaque prescription et visite, des soins en partis non remboursé, tout cela pour renflouer la SS, OU PASSE L&AsTuo;rRGENq?

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