Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a prominent fixture on the Abu Dhabi skyline, and could be seen from our hotel, with the most gorgeous view from the infinity pool. It’s a huge structure, capable of accommodating 40,000 worshipers. Our hotel, the Shangri-La Qaryat al Beri, had a shuttle that took us over to the Mosque and everyone seemed really excited to go see it.

The view of the Mosque from our hotel's infinity pool.
The view of the Mosque from our hotel’s infinity pool. I would like this tan back please!

We were dropped off and the women had one entrance, while the men had another. The separate entrances led into the exact same tent, no separation inside, and we went through metal detectors. We then went down into a separate area to rent the abayas. Jeremy was wearing a t-shirt and pants, so he didn’t need any further coverings.

(Side note: Abayas are free to borrow, but you have to bring an ID. They won’t accept a passport, so bring your driver’s license or something else with your photo on it.)

Women had to wear an abaya, which covers everything except your face and hands.
Women had to wear an abaya, which covers everything except your face and hands.

The women helped me with my abaya, and we were on our way.

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The Mosque was INCREDIBLE. It was white and gold marble, decorated with intricate flowers and massive chandeliers. The sun just makes the entire thing glimmer.

The whole place shimmers in the sunlight.
The whole place shimmers in the sunlight.

The entrance was flanked by rows and rows of white and gold columns, and two large blue shimmering pools.

Pools at the entrance, they were SO blue.
Pools at the entrance, they were SO blue.

What I thought was really interesting is that there aren’t any photos or drawings in the Mosque, as Islam doesn’t allow renditions of its religious figures. When you go to cathedrals or churches in Europe, there are always drawings or painting or sculptures of famous Christians, but here the only decoration was the building itself. Oh, and these giant chandeliers (the largest of which weighs 12 tons).

The 12 ton chandelier, hanging in the center of the prayer rooms.
The 12 ton chandelier, hanging in the center of the prayer rooms. These were made in Munich, Germany. (Also, in the background you can see the traditional men’s garments.)
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Rows and rows of Qurans, not nearly enough for the 40,000 worshipers the prayer rooms can hold.
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The walls of the inner prayer rooms were intricate (and kept with the white and gold theme).
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I mean, have you ever seen something so gorgeous?! White and gold tile, marble floors, colorful tile flowers, and that chandelier!
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A view of the main dome of the main prayer room.
My hood kept slipping, so I covered my hair in a (prettier) scarf.
My hood kept slipping, so I covered my hair in a (prettier) scarf.

I can’t do it justice, and neither really do these photos, but at least you can get the idea!

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It’s so hard to tell from these photos just how large the Mosque really was.
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Gorgeous, intricate details. ALL IN WHITE AND GOLD, BE STILL MY HEART.
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You can see the rows of columns and the center courtyard. Also, there were tons of tile flowers in the floor.
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This one gives you a better idea of how large the columns are. Do you know how long I stood here to get a photo without people walking around in the background?!
Us in the center courtyard
Us in the center courtyard

xx katie

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