Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Crowned as the largest mosque in all of the United Arab Emirates, Grand Mosque or widely known as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is found in the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi. Built between 1996 and 2007, the mosque is named after the first president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who died in 2004 and was buried in the mosques premise itself.The building is an enigmatic piece of architectural design with some of it's most exotic features like being decorated with the world's largest carpet (60,570 square feet) and chandelier and the ability to hold more than 40,000 devotees for prayers, makes the place an ideal destination for worshipers. The place is one of the most visited structures in the world and is occupied with visitors all year round.Masterminded by architect Yousef Abdelky, the construction of the mosque was spread across 12 years and used more than 3,000 workers and 38 other construction companies costing a whopping 2 billion dollars in overall construction cost. Its impeccable design is inspired by various regions and mosques including Alexandrian, Persian and Mughal mosques, Abu Al-Abbas Al-Muris Mosque in Egypt and Badshashi mosque in Lahore, Pakistan.The Grand Mosque is embedded with Swarovski Crystal Chandeliers moulded in 24-carat gold,96 interior columns studded with jewels, 1,096 external columns, and 82 domes carved out of white marble. Running along the arcades is a water pool.The exciting thing about the pool is the arrangement of lights around it. The company Speirs and Major Associates modelled the lights to mirror various phases of the moon making the mosque a dazzling establishment at night. This Mosque has also made its way into the Guinness book of world records with the second largest chandelier and the largest carpet in a mosque.Suggested Read: 50 Amazing Places to Visit in Abu DhabiTour of the MosqueThe Mosque is infinitely large and it's impossible to explore the place entirely without a tour. There are tour services offered from Saturday to Thursday from 11:00 AM onwards, on Friday's the tour starts at 5:00 PM. Also, don't forget to carry your sunglasses because the place can get really hot. To be on the safe side, choose a tour that's either early in the morning or late afternoon. The tour can also help you discover and learn more about the Grand Mosque.- Pray: If you are a worshiper you can visit the Mosque during prayer hours. - Enjoy the Beauty: From the chandeliers to the columns, every corner of the Grand Mosque is an attraction. So, make sure to explore every bit of it and take a lot of photos during your visit. - Enjoy the Sunset: Staying till the end and enjoying the sunset alongside the pool would probably be the best end to the tour. If possible visit the Grand Mosque twice, once during the day and again at night.