5 Things You Should Know About the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The most visited attraction in Abu Dhabi, the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque, is an iconic mosque that has become the symbol of peace and unity in the Middle East. This grand structure was envisioned by the first President of U.A.E., Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a beacon of cultural unity. It is one of the few mosques that allows Non-Muslims to enter, making it one of most visited attractions in Abu Dhabi. There are a lot of amazing facts about the mosque, that will make you want to visit this place and experience its glory.
Took More than a Decade to Build
The construction for the mosque began in 1996, and it was finally completed in 2007. The peculiar specifications and requirements were one of the reasons the construction went on for so long. However, once revealed, tourists realized that this place was worth the wait, and have since been thronging to visit Grand Sheikh Zayed Abu Dhabi. There are 90 minute tours throughout the day, but avoid going on Friday, as the place is packed for prayers. The mosque is also home of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center where many visitor programs and cultural activities take place. The center is a great place to learn more about Islam. And if you also want to learn more, you can visit the library located in north-east minaret. It is full of Islamic works from all over the world.
Another reason why the mosque took a long time build was that it is mostly made from natural elements. Since it one of the most important mosques in the world, the makers wanted to keep it as natural as possible. Most of the mosque is made up of marble, semi precious stones, crystals, gold and stone. These materials make it one of the most environmentally friendly mosques in the world. As soon as you are in the vicinity of the mosque, you can feel the calm and peaceful atmosphere wash over you. It is truly remarkable making it the absolute best attraction in Abu Dhabi.
Built by Workers from All Over the World
Over the period of a decade, the building of Grand Sheikh Zayed Abu Dhabi has employed more than 3000 workers from all over the world. Artisans and materials from places like Germany, Italy, Macedonia, China, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, and UK, have been employed to make this glorious structure. The Emir, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, wanted all countries in the world to be a part of this monumental building. He also wanted it to be a place where people from different Islamic sects keep their differences aside, and pray to the Almighty. His dream succeeded as the mosque is considered to be one of the most sacred places in the world.
Home to World’s Largest Handmade Carpet
Made with high quality wool from New Zealand and Iran, the carpet in the main prayer hall is the largest hand woven carpet in the world. It took more than 1200 artisans, and more than 2 years to complete it. They painstaking knotted each thread to make one of the most stunning carpets in the world. All the work was done in the main hall, as it would be impossible to make the carpet elsewhere, and bring it to the mosque. Why? Because it weighs 35 tonnes, and is 67,570 square feet wide. It is testament to the class and effort that has gone into making this marvelous attraction in Abu Dhabi.
Largest Mosque in the U.A.E.
United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the world, and is an Islamic nation. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the country is full of amazing mosques that look like art created by the world’s best artists. However, the Grand Sheikh Zayed Abu Dhabi is the largest and the most important of them all. During Friday prayers, and the holy month of Ramadan, the mosque is packed with faithfuls who come to offer their prayers. The atmosphere is divine. Therefore, it is considered to be an important place of worship, and Muslims from all over the world, do make it a point to offer prayers here if they visit U.A.E
There are so many wonderful things about the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque that make it the best attraction in Abu Dhabi. It is covers an area of 30 acres, and has chandeliers made with Swarovski Crystals. The Qubla Wall in the mosque contains 99 names of Allah, and there are 96 marble pillars just in the main hall. There’s just so much to know and see about this place that people visiting Abu Dhabi, or even Dubai, should definitely plan a stop here. It is an experience like no other.