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 firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check out our private itineraries and luxury small group tours to United Arab Emirates.