Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, Featured Image

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Pure Splendour

The Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi is perhaps the most beautiful, sumptuous, and diverse mosque I have ever set my foot in, so far. Incepted by the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and housing his resting place, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is easily spotted from afar due to the pure Macedonian and Greek white marble, cladding its walls and domes.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Outside, Afternoon
Outside the mosque in the early afternoon.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Stiliyan and Svet, Afternoon
Stiliyan and Svet in front of the mosque.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Immense Measures and Jaw-dropping Exterior

Measuring 420 m (1,380 ft) by 290 m (960 ft), Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a true chef d’œuvre of Islamic design, art, and architecture. Over a thousand pillars support the four 107 m minarets and eighty-two domes. The mosque’s pillars are veneered with floral designs with semi-precious stones – amethyst, jasper, red agate, mother-of-pearl, and lapis lazuli – to the contrast of ceramic geometric details, decorating the inside of the domes.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Approaching the Mosque, Close Shot
Approaching the mosque’s yard.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Pillar Design, Semi Precious Stones
Pillars with inlaid flowers, composed of semi-precious stones.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Pillar Gold Decorated
Gold decorated pillars.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Yard Floor Tiles, Semi Precious Stones
The floor tiles in the mosque’s yard. Excuse the inappropriate appearance of my shadow. She loves joining the photoshoot party. 🙂
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Yard, Stiliyan and Svet
Stiliyan and Svet in the mosque’s yard.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wearing Thawb Robes, Stiliyan and Svet
Since we were wearing shorts that were a bit shorter than what is deemed acceptable at a mosque, we had to dress in thawbs (the white robes).
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Entering the Halls, Golden Pillars
More gold-and-marble pillars at the entrance. This place is incredibly detailed. Let’s go inside!

The jaw-dropping exterior of the mosque staggers the visitor with opulent chandeliers made of gold, brass, steel, and Swarovski crystals. The weight of the largest chandelier is mind-boggling 12 tonnes, including 40 kg (88 lbs) of pure 24-carat galvanised gold.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Magnificent Chandelier, Close Shot, Swarovski
Gold, brass, steel, and Swarovski crystals, sparkling inside the mosque.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – An Interior That Flabbergasts Visitors and Stays into Their Mind Forever

Visitors are allowed to marvel at this masterpiece of contemporary architecture and Arabic magnificence between the six different prayers. Shoes and shorts (those covering the knees are okay) are forbidden, but that should not bother you since Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s main hall is laid with probably the most splendid (and the largest hand-knotted) carpet in the world.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, Resplendent Loomed Carpet
The resplendent loomed carpet inside the mosque.

The wool was transported from New Zealand and Iran, and the carpet’s medallion composition, measuring more than 5,500 square metres (over 60,000 square feet), was designed by the Iranian artist, Dr Ali Khaliqi, and woven by more than 1,200 artisans. More than 2 billion knots hold the 35-tonne carpet together! It needed two years to complete.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, Clock with Prayers, Time for Prayers
An intricate clock, showing the six prayers and their corresponding times.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, Splendid Interior, Grand Mosque
The splendid interior details of the mosque.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Marvellous Chandelier, Quran Lines
Another masterpiece – a chandelier and a dome with lines from the Quran.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wonderful Chandelier with more Ornaments, Quran Lines
A closer shot of the magnificent chandelier.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Magnificent Elongated Windows
The mosque’s elongated windows allow natural light to get inside the halls for praying.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, Rich Wall Ornaments
Some of walls were also richly decorated.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Splendid Columns Inside the Mosque
Opulent columns.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Splendid Interior, Quran Lines
Some more splendid interior design.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Stiliyan, Svet, Tsvetan, Selfie
Stiliyan, Svet, and Tsvetan with the chandelier and the dome.

Kufic, Thuluth, and Naskh are the three Islamic calligraphy styles used throughout the mosque.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, The Three Chandeliers in a Line
The three main chandeliers in a line.

Sheikh Zayed – A Must-visit and Must-experience Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque necessitated more than 10 years to build thanks to the assiduous efforts of 30,000 workers since 1996. It was inaugurated in 2007.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Outside, Dusk, Tree in Front
Two of the domes and one minaret shot from outside.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE Close Shot, Outside, Two Domes
Closer shot of the two main domes.


The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is probably the most opulent mosque out there

Have you seen such a resplendence? Where? 🙂


26 comments on “Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Pure Splendour

  1. Hung Thai [Up Up and a Bear]

    Holy cow man – this place is epic! Super nice, full of luxury and grand in every sense of the word. Those chandeliers…

    • Svet

      I am struggling the find the appropriate words for this magnificence. I had to check Thesaurus a couple of times :)) The chandeliers I cannot describe with my words, sorry. Have to learn more!

  2. Nina Alexander

    Had I not been so afraid to visit Abu Dhabi (given the current political/religious situation worldwide) I would have packed my bags after seeing this! Beautiful!!!

    • Svet

      Oh, I assure you the UAE are perfectly (if there is such a term – okay, close to perfect) place to travel. Well, women would have to wear something to cover their heads (and breasts), but … only in mosques!

    • Reginia Cordell

      It is very safe in Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE. I’ve lived here four years and the most challenging thing is driving; all else is fine. You should definitely put in on your travel list. I would avoid the summer months though.

      • Svet

        I completely agree with Reginia. My friend, who showed me around, has been living there for more than three years, and told me the same thing. I was there in February and it was already quite warm, so summer is not a viable option unless you want to melt :))

  3. Pinay Flying High

    12 tons of a chandelier with 24 karat gold and swarovski crystals, that deserves a grand applause!
    I have to admit something though – I lived in Dubai for 7 years and never had the chance to see this mosque. Ugh!

  4. Safari Junkie

    Love this mosque! I would expect crowds of people but looks like you had it for yourself? Do women also get a cover dress, I remember in Jordan i had to wear a black abaya in the mosque despite the fact I was properly dressed.

    • Svet

      Yes, there were crowds of people, I just used my amateur photography skills to avoid them. Wasn’t so teeming, though. Yes, women have to cover almost everything – their heads, breasts, legs, anything revealing. 🙂

  5. Megan Claire (@mappingmegan)

    Amazingly beautiful! I’m kicking myself because I spent 7 days in Dubai recently though didn’t venture further out. I’m now hearing a tonne of talk about Abu Dhabi and would love to go!

    • Svet

      Oh, Megan, you really should have visited Abu Dhabi. Though I was there for only a day, I loved some things much more than Dubai – for instance, the parks – it is packed with them. And this mosque, together with Emirates Palace and Ferrari World, are must-sees.

  6. Amandas_Wanderlust

    Just wow! The Grand Mosque looks totally stunning and it must have been both impressive and very moving to visit.

    • Svet

      It is a staggering example of contemporary Islamic architecture. It was indeed striking and moving wandering around it! 🙂

  7. Cass

    Wow, absolutely stunning! I can’t get over the level of detail everywhere. I bet it’s even more impressive in person. Thanks for sharing!

    • Svet

      It is amazingly beautiful and lavish! It is indeed super impressive, clean, and opulent! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Naomi

    Wow Svet what an amazingly detailed post and love the pics and architectural focus👌 would still love to go here, have only been to Dubai so far and saw beautiful mosques there, but not as eloborate as this one!! Will def come back later for more of your blogs..Good night kisses from Holland!! Xxx Naomi – AuthenticChica😘

    • Svet

      Hey, Naomi! Thanks so much for reading my blog post! It was one of the best pieces of architectural experience in my life (probably only behind Barcelona). No, this one is truly a masterpiece! You can check Emirates Palace, too – so much resplendence in one place again. Good morning kisses from Bulgaria!


  9. Travelure

    What detailed work! Wow!

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