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The Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed by the Numbers

As the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest in the world, the Sheikh Zayed is a both a legacy of a great man and an impressive testimony of modern ingenuity. But above of all it is a house of worship, drawing as many as 40,000 faithful followers of Islam each Friday and for Eid prayers. A blending of Persian architecture, Moorish archways, and classic Arab minarets, the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a mesmerizing sight to behold -- especially when the sun is reflecting off the pristine marble façade. Here are just a few of the mosque’s impressive stats:


 Image: A woman wearing a shaila and abhaya stands before the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

  The carpet in the main prayer hall is the largest in the world. At more than 60,000 square feet it was hand-made by more than 1,200 carpet knotters.

  The prayer hall can hold 7,000 worshippers and is supported by 96 columns that are inlaid with mother of pearl.

  The imported 24-karat gold chandeliers are adorned with millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest of these fixtures is 49 feet high and 32 feet in width.

  On the Qibla wall that faces Mecca there are 99 names for God inscribed in calligraphy.

  The courtyard is made of 183,000 square feet of marble decorated with winding bouquets of flowers.

  There are four minarets towering 350 feet above the skyline alongside 82 white marble domes.

  The mosque is made of more than 30 types of marble as well as gold, ceramics, crystals, and semi-precious stones.

Things to Keep in Mind

As one of only two mosques in the UAE open to non-Muslims, the Grand Mosque is a must-see landmark. However, as a house of worship, the Sheikh Zayed mosque also has very stringent guidelines that visitors must adhere to:

  Visitors must dress modestly in loose-fitting long pants or skirts and long-sleeve shirts

  Women must wear head coverings or borrow an abhaya (loose fitting robe) and don a shaila (headscarf) which are available available at the entrance. Make sure the shaila is securely attached!

  Guests should be prepared to take off their shoes upon entering the mosque.

  Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon, so do not touch, even when posing for photographs.

  Never touch the Quran.

  Guides are welcoming and encourage respectful questions about Islam and the Emirati culture.

For information on Travcoa's journeys to United Arab Emirates, call your Travel Agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, email and be sure to check out our private itineraries and luxury small group tours to United Arab Emirates.

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