I’ve visited Dubai some years ago and I just loved this city. I knew that one day I would come back to the United Arab Emirates and visit Abu Dhabi. The perfect opportunity came by as I traveled from Germany to South East Asia as I had to change planes in Abu Dhabi. So why not do a stopover? That’s what I thought and so I decided to book 2 nights in Abu Dhabi on my way back to Germany. And I’m glad I made that decision, because I discover the best of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque during this trip.
How to get around?
Abu Dhabi is an amazing city and definitely worth a visit. As Abu Dhabi is a huge city, it’s not recommendable to visit it by foot. It’s much better to take a taxi (which is really really cheap in the United Arab Emirates) or to do a sightseeing tour by bus.
I love “hop-on-hop-off” buses as they take you to the most important attractions without losing your flexibility. You can get off at each stop, visit attractions and then get back on the bus. Get an audio guide which tells you some very interesting facts about the city. When you visit such big cities as Abu Dhabi, this kind of bus tour is the best way to explore the city. That’s why I booked a 24-hour ticket and started my sightseeing tour.
It’s amazing to see how huge Abu Dhabi currently is and how much huger it will become in the future. There are giant construction sites where they build the craziest things. The world’s biggest luxury resort, the biggest yacht harbor, a city in the city…it’s incredible to imagine what this city will offer in the future. The current Abu Dhabi pretty much seems like a huge construction site. I can only imagine how different this city will look like in a few years.
Ferrari World – the Roller Coasters Heaven
The bus tour took me through the whole city as well as to the famous Ferrari World which I had already spotted on the plane.
I didn’t went inside as I’m not a big fan of roller coasters but I heard that it’s a paradise for people who love roller coasters. It must be a huge area as it took quite long to drive around by bus. I also could see some giant roller coasters from the bus…so if you love adrenaline, I think that might be a great place for you. 🙂
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
I continued my bus ride to the world-famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This building is so amazing and gigantic that it’s hard to find words for it. It’s just mind-blowing; I’ve never seen something like that before in my life.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a building of superlatives: it’s the biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest in the world. There is space for 40,000 creditors and its main dome is the largest in the world. Inside the mosque you find a giant carpet of 5627 square meters which is hand-made and the largest of its kind.
The mosque also contains of 82 domes, more than 1000 pillars and chandeliers which are made of 24-carat gold. In addition, you can find the world’s biggest chandelier above the world’s largest carpet inside the mosque. It’s crazy, isn’t it? Just the numbers themselves are pretty impressive. If you see all of that in reality, it’s just mind-blowing.
Before I show you how it looks inside the mosque, it’s quite interesting to know that the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the very few (I even think it’s the only one) mosques which allow people from all religions to enter the mosque. This was very important to sheik Zayed as he wanted to create a building of hospitality and openness which gives everyone the chance to visit.
Before you enter, it’s really important to be aware of some rules regarding your outfit. Women especially, have to cover their shoulders, legs and hairs. Forget to bring along? No worries. You can rent a black Abaya in front of the main entrance. From there, you also enter the mosque and its courtyard. And so the marvelous journey begins.
I strolled through the courtyard for ages as I just couldn’t believe how huge and beautiful the mosque is. I thought that nothing could beat this view, but as I entered the mosque, I realized that I was wrong. The inner room is just as amazing and absolutely overwhelming.
Inside, everything sparkles and the room is full of diamonds, gold, marble and gemstones – it’s splendid and made with so much love for the details. Just amazing!!
I was absolutely impressed and really speechless (which doesn’t happen very often 😀 ). The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is pure magic and definitely worth a visit. So, if you have the chance to visit the United Arab Emirates – even just for a stopover – don’t forget Abu Dhabi. It’s an amazing city and the mosque especially is a true and unforgettable highlight!
Final thoughts from Chloe
I remember when I visited Taj Mahal in India, I was totally blown away by her beauty. I guess Anne had the exact same experience when she went to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. I can’t wait to see Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with my own eyes. How about you?