February 9, 2020

"Sometimes words cannot explain what we write. Even pictures cannot justify what we actually see . You must see it to believe it with your own eyes." - Quote about Sheikh Zayed 'Grand' Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE - Sachin Kumar Gupta 

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, located in Abu Dhabi, UAE (United Arab Emirates), is the largest mosque in the country. We visited the Sheikh Zayed 'Grand' Mosque when we were in UAE with family. If you are staying in Abu Dhabi you will find the place easily by taxi/cab. But even if you are staying in Dubai (150 km away) then also don't put off this place from your watch-list. Plan for it. We were amazed by picturesque architecture, outstanding positioning and spiritual feelings. 

Fee: There is NO entry fee to enter the grand mosque. So beware of any kind of agents. There are also free guided tours which last about 45-60 minutes. 

Saturday-Thursday 09:00 am - 22:00 pm
Fridays  16:30 pm - 22:00 pm
During Ramadan, Opening times change to 9:00 am-14:00 pm (Saturday-Thursday) and completely closed on Fridays.

Address: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

The visitor center is little away from the mosque and that in itself is massive, well planned, accessible and most impressive. The entry process was quick, efficient and well setup. There were lots of security people and the staff were both courteous and helpful. We got our ticket in no time. The tours are offered in English and Arabic and children are welcome. Make sure to pack your sunglasses as the white building and the strong sun can make it practically blind at times. 

You do need to cover up and dress appropriately. They are strict with the dress code especially for women so be aware and we should respect that. They do however provide clean and comfy Abaya for women free of charge which they have in a few different sizes. On arrival, ladies are directed to a room where they change before entering the Mosque. The building is really beautiful, the materials used are of the finest quality and the workmanship is simply splendid. Outside white dominates with gold, semi precious stones and glass in abundance. Inside the mosque, there is more muted but nonetheless superbly worked and designed. The huge open space, cool flooring, the large chandeliers will keep you awestruck. The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet. 

The best time to visit Abu Dhabi is during the cooler months between October and April. Any time of day is a good time to visit this grand mosque. Due to the heat and depending on visiting month, you are advised to visit early morning or late evening. It is also preferred visiting during the week to avoid crowds. Next time, I will visit this place again in the late evening. 

I have to admit that this is a great place with beautiful architecture, and a must go place at all cost, if you are in Abu Dhabi/UAE. Enjoy the place, learn something about culture, take plenty of photos and be respectful.


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Sri Sairam Subhayatra


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