Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Abu Dhabi


If you are visiting the UAE, consider taking a 1.5 hr ride to Abu Dhabi to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The sheer opulence and beauty is truly breathe-taking. Entrance and guided tours are free. In our opinion, a definite Must see. Remember that this a holy place and be respectful. Appropriate dress can be provided.

Note: check the guided tour schedules as they vary throughout the year.

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi
Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide
Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide

Interesting facts

1. The project was launched bySheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late president of the United Arab Emirates. He wanted to create a that united the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the modern values of art and history.

2. The construction began in 1996 and was completed over a period of almost 12 years, covering an area of 22,412m2 and costing approx 2.5 billion AED.

3. The Mosque can accommodate 41,000 worshippers.

4. The main dome is the largest mosque dome in the world.

5. Seven gold-plated crystal chandeliers garnish the mosque in different sizes, embellished with millions of Swarovski crystals.

6. The main prayer hall features a 5,625m2 large carpet, hand knotted by approx 1,300 Iranian craftsmen using 35 tons of wool and 12 tons of cotton. It’s estimated value is 30 million AED.

7. Natural materials were chosen for much of the design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities. These included marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones and crystal. It was built by an Italian company using 3,000 workers and approx 38 contracting companies.

8. The courtyard is made up of 1,048 columns and 82 domes. The domes are clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl.

9. The mosque is decorated with Greek and Italian white marble, considered to be the purest in the world.

10. Rihanna was criticised for posing in a provocative manner with the Mosque in the background during a private visit and was asked to leave by staff following the incident. Selena Gomez was also criticised for revealing her ankles on photographs taken at the mosque for her Instagram page.

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi - Alphabet Lifestyle travel guide

12 hours in Dubai

Afternoon tea at At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa

We took a flight from Hamad International Airport, Qatar, with Qatar Airways, landing in Dubai approx 50mins later, ready for a day of shopping.

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We headed over to Dubai Marina for beakfast. The Dubai Marine Walk is a must see in Dubai. A waterfront development of stunning buildings, a myriad of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and patisseries. A perfect place to shop, eat and relax.

We ate breakfast at Carluccuios, essential preparation for the day of shopping ahead. We had planned to stroll the walkways, however with temperatures reaching 40 degrees, after just 10 minutes we headed indoors.

If you are planning to visit The Marina we would suggest that you visit in the evenings when the walkway is a bustle of activity, or wait until the cooler months.

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From here we took a taxi to The Dubai Mall – A shoppers paradise. For those that abhor the idea of a day of shopping don’t dismiss the idea yet. Over 1 million people visit the mall every week. Why? You may ask.

Dubai mall aquarium

Not only is The Dubai Mall the worlds largest shopping destination but it is also home to movie theaters, an ice skating rink and a giant aquarium and an underwater zoo featuring sharks, stingrays and penguins. It is also linked to the worlds tallest building – The Burj Khalifa at 829.84m(2,723ft).  If that’s not enough you can experience The Dubai Fountain.

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Set on a 30-acre lake, the fountains shoot water jets up to 150m (500ft) choreographed to music and designed by creators of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas. Quite spectacular.

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Burj Khalifa fountains

We choose to take afternoon tea at the At.mosphere on the 123rd floor ( you need to pre-book).

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The View! In my opinion is the best in Dubai.

Now, The Food at At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa!

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Berries and cream with gold leaf

First, a palette cleanser of  berries and cream, and trickled with gold leaf, followed by a selection of delicacies and finger sandwiches, followed by a roast of the day or the fish choice, and finally the creme de la creme – a selection of fine pastries, cakes and home made scones. Absolutely delicious and can’t wait to visit again soon!

Afternoon tea at At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa
Afternoon tea at At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa