How can you be in the UAE for 2 weeks and not visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque? Specially if you haven’t been there before? It’s quite unthinkable, isn’t it? It is not only a beautiful “grand” looking mosque, it appears to be quite an Instagramable place as well! Though when we visited, I wasn’t as active on Instagram, wasn’t aware of the “Instagramability” however, delighted to find out about it nonetheless 😉
It is really pretty, very grand and beautiful. No other way to put it.
Now, how to get there: It is in the capital of UAE, Abu Dhabi. One easier and slightly costly way to go there from Dubai is by taxi. I would recommend this if travel party includes 4 or even 3. We decided to take the local way (by local, I mean local foreign workers/immigrants, not local Emirati) which was by bus. Since we stayed in Deira area, closest bus station to us was the in Old Dubai (Bur Dubai). Right at the station in front of ticket booth there are taxi drivers who also tried to offer us trip to Abu Dhabi. Reason for me not to take taxi was I didn’t have any car seat for Eliana and didn’t feel comfortable riding a taxi for 2 hours.
Bus ride was uneventful (except for that bus driver insisted we hold Eliana on our lap and not buy a ticket for her to save money!) and not much scenery to speak of. On our way back I made sure to buy a ticket for Eliana. After our arrival at Abu Dhabi bus station first business was to take a cab to visit that Creme Brûlée cafe! It is bit out of the way (as getting a cab back from there to the mosque wasn’t easy, had to walk bit to come on the Main Street). I would say those camel milk Creme Brûlée was worth it! They also served some food ie. burgers (sliders) and such. They didn’t have French Fries, but made sure to grab some for Eliana from another restaurant!
And then off we went to the mosque, where we spent time till it got dark. I wanted to see how it looks both in daylight and in dark! They offer free tour, but we missed it. And it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get to take the tour, you can still go inside. There is obviously certain times of the day perhaps you can’t go in due to prayer times (check their site). Also, head needs to be covered for women, and no shorts and such. Inside the mosque, no shoes either.
And that place didn’t disappoint! It is really magnificent! Here are some pictures:
Eliana all ready to go inside the grand mosque!
Inside the prayer hall:
This is where the Imam stands to lead the prayer:
A nice little replica of the mosque itself!
During and After the sunset!