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.
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.)
The women helped me with my abaya, and we were on our way.
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 entrance was flanked by rows and rows of white and gold columns, and two large blue shimmering pools.
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).
I can’t do it justice, and neither really do these photos, but at least you can get the idea!