29 May World’s Second Best Reviewed Landmark: Sheikh Zayed Mosque
“Grand is an understatement. The architecture, the white marble and the beautifully maintained green gardens are stunning.” – TripAdvisor (2017)
Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Mosque being in the world’s a-list attractions doesn’t come as a surprise to travel enthusiasts and jet-setters. This year, TripAdvisor, a popular travel site, has ranked the Grand Mosque as second best attraction in the world for the second time since 2014.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and eighth largest in the world. With a total area of 22,412m², it can accommodate 40,000 visitors. Its name comes from H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates, who sponsored the construction of the landmark. It is also the largest marble structure built by man, containing the largest chandelier and the largest carpet in the world that can accommodate up to 5,000 worshipers.
The holy building includes 4 huge minarets towering to 107 meters high, 85 domes and 1,048 columns. The main chandelier, suspended from the main dome, measures 10 meters in diameter, 15 meters in height, and weighs nearly 12 tons, making it world’s largest chandelier. It consists of stainless steel, gold-plated brass sheets and glass plates encrusted with Swarovski crystals.
Visiting hours start from 9am to 10pm every Saturday to Thursday. On Friday mornings, the mosque is closed for tourism activities, but open for worship, and resumes at 4:30pm until 10pm.
A free 45 – 60-minute guided tour (in English and Arabic) helps explain some fundamentals of the Islamic religion while pointing out some of the architectural highlights of the interior that never fail to awe residents and tourists alike.