Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Grand Mosque

In spite of a heavy work load, two weeks ago Amy and I were able to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Amy had visited the mosque before I arrived in the U.A.E. and after seeing her photos I was very excited about our visit.

The mosque was built by the former president and founder of the U.A.E., Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.  The Sheikh’s final resting place is located on the grounds of the mosque.

(I hadn't purchased a beard trimmer yet so my beard was off the hook!)

The mosque is open to tourists 6 days a week, closing on Friday so that normal services can be held without interference. The day we visited the mosque was swamped with tourists from all over. It’s mandatory for women to cover themselves when entering the mosque, so many tourists found themselves directed into a room where abaya’s were provided.

The mosque is huge, covering roughly the size of 5 football fields. Its white marble is so brilliant that it is difficult to look at on a sunny day without sun glasses (trust me on this one). The interior of the main prayer hall is lavishly adorned with gigantic chandeliers and marble walls with stone flowers embedded in them.

It’s an incredibly beautiful place and I'm sure this the first of many visits to come.

The Grand Mosque is one of the definitive attractions of the U.A.E. If you ever find yourself in this country, make sure you carve out enough time to visit.

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