The magnificent cities of the United Arab Emirates simply know how to wow. You will not find more luxury and splendour anywhere else in the world. And right at the forefront is the capital, Abu Dhabi: If you are amazed by the luxury hotels and shopping malls here, then the Sheikh Zayed Mosque will definitely take your breath away!
When you set foot in the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, you’ll feel as though you have landed directly in the fairy tale of Arabian Nights. Every part of the Mosque, which is the biggest Mosque in the UAE, is a declaration of love for Islam. However, it’s not just its dimensions that are gigantic: besides the precious marble, a lot of gold decorates the mosque and inside there is one of the biggest rugs in the world.
But first of all, enough with the words, just let yourselves be enchanted a little by these pictures of the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque…
Sheikh Zayed Mosque – The last wish of a Sheikh
In an Arabian city, where each year the buildings seem to outdo each other, there should also be a place of worship that matches this. That’s what the wealthy Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan thought before his death and so he subsidised the construction of this mosque named after him with 350 million euros.
And so, in 2004, the construction work began on one of the biggest and most spectacular mosques in the world: 80 domes covered with white marble, four minarets, which tower 107 metres high above the mosque, over 5600 m² in size, an almost 50 tonne heavy, handmade rug, as well as the largest chandelier in the world, measuring 10 metres in diameter and 15 metres tall. The pillars, floor and the ceiling of the mosque are decorated with the finest paintings, gold and glittering gemstones. Exquisite glass windows provide a shimmering light effect in the rooms. The masterpiece is surrounded by a large pool, which reflects the wonderful colours of the mosque throughout the day and at night, when the building is illuminated. An unbelievably amazing sight, if you ask me!
The wonderful colours of the mosque are reflected in the water
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, as the building is generally known, was first opened in 2007 during Ramadan. Since then, it not only provides space for over 40,000 Muslims, but is also one of the most important sights in Abu Dhabi that you should certainly not miss out on when visiting the Emirates. What’s great is that the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open to everyone. Only a few codes of conduct must be obeyed on a visit: Both men and women are not permitted to enter the Mosque in shorts or sleeveless tops. In addition, women may not wear tight trousers and must cover their hair with a headscarf. A wide robe to cover the body as well as headscarf can be borrowed from the entrance free of charge. Just like in all other mosques, you must remove your shoes at the entrance. Touching the walls and pillars, eating, smoking and kissing your loved ones should not be done out of respect during your visit.
Opening times and tours at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Opening times & Entrance
Saturday – Thursday 9am-10pm
Last entrance is at 9.30pm
Entrance is free
So that you can get a better understanding of the unique architecture of the mosque and the customs of Islam, there are free, hour-long tours, which take place at 10am, 11am and 5pm Sunday – Thursday and Fridays at 5pm and 7pm, and Saturdays at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm, without having to register. I especially recommend the one at 5pm, as the sun slowly begins to set at this time and the mosque is flooded with romantic lighting. Fridays in Muslim countries are similar to Sundays in Christian countries. It is the “day of meeting” and is holy, especially in Arab countries like Abu Dhabi. The shops remain closed for half the day and entry to the mosque is reserved solely for visitors of worship. Note: entrance to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, regardless of whether you do so as part of a tour or on your own accord, is always free.
Your Holiday to Abu Dhabi
A holiday in the United Arab Emirates is simply a dream! Allow yourself to be blown away by Abu Dhabi’s ever-present luxury and dive into the Middle Eastern world of the Sheikhs and mosques! Already want to pack your bags right away and head off into the Arabian Nights?