Looking at my photos of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque made me realize that they don’t deserve to be in a post on a day in Abu Dhabi; they deserve to be in a dedicated one to properly showcase the mosque’s splendor and beauty. Big words, especially that I actually had no intention of going to the capital of the United Arab Emirates until it was brought up by the Korean and Chinese I met at the hostel. So, shall we?
We arrived at the bus terminal in Abu Dhabi just before midday struck and took a taxi to get to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. At ten minutes past twelve, I took my first photo of the structure and instantly grasped that when in Dubai, you just gotta go to Abu Dhabi, too. Standing in all its white glory, it’s unquestionably a must-see.
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there sure is a thing as a free entrance to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Of course, you have to be dressed appropriately to get inside the compound. If you didn’t do your assignment, don’t fret just yet, as there’s abaya and shayla and thawb for everyone at the entrance. My clothes didn’t require me to wear a thawb but I would’ve loved to wear one as part of the experience if it weren’t for the fact that it was gonna be uncomfortable because it was scorching and I sweat like mad. #jabar
Inappropriate behaviors, which include poses for your photos, are not tolerated so cooperate accordingly. Rihanna was kicked out after doing a pose similar to one of my so-called signature poses. We don’t want that, do we.
Getting through the gate, I was immediately in awe as I approached the mosque. Its utter whiteness was very striking (reminiscent of the Panathenaic Stadium in Greece, if I may say); its minarets, columns, and reflecting pools gave the most wonderful welcome.
The Grand Mosque
Footwear is prohibited in the building so don’t expect it to be a part of your OOTD while inside. See those golden circles? They’re not like the one in Kingsman; they’re where footwear were left.
The first photo that I took once inside the mosque was that of the intricately designed ceiling. The off-limits courtyard, with its beautiful floral design, opens up to a marvelous view of the minarets and the domes housing the prayer hall.
There were a lot of people by the blockade so it wasn’t easy getting a photograph with the courtyard and prayer hall’s facade.
From there we turned left where another perspective of the columns awaited. Floral designs were all over the place—from the ceiling to the columns and to the floor.
The courtyard, given how grand of a marble mosaic it was, deserved photos from multiple angles. Photographed below are our destination and where we entered.
Towards the prayer hall were more decorations—stained glass, decorative tilework, and more flowers on the walls. It just doesn’t get any better, I’m telling you. Everything was becoming more intricate wherever you look, with the ceilings looking like they’re about to warp you.
And oh, oh, did I mention that there were chandeliers? Man, they were the most exquisite!
There was also a pretty floral clock displaying different times which I initially thought was of different countries. Apparently they were a schedule of prayers, particularly the daily obligatory ones.
As it turned out, the prayer hall had a lot more in store. Aside from the head-to-toe shift in ornaments from the outside (not in a negative way, of course!), it sported the largest carpet there was and on the wall were the 99 names of Allah, in Arabic calligraphy. The place was essentially off-limits as well but there was still a path tourists could follow and, most importantly, taking photos was still allowed.
I wonder if Sia could handle these?
I could use all the superlative adjectives to describe everything my eyes were processing but I guess there’s no better way than to just let the photos do all the talking.
You should never miss visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque when in
Abu Dhabi Dubai for a few days (flew there for only ₱9,358.58). You just shouldn’t. Herewith is Gary and Min, the company that I’m very thankful for for that day. We were in the building complex for almost two hours, with me and Min heading to the lovely Emirates Palace afterwards and Gary going back ahead to Dubai to climb Burj Khalifa.
- Check the complex’s operating hours, especially when going there on your own #DIY and not on a tour. You wouldn’t wanna be very excited to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque only to find out that it’s closed during your time in Abu Dhabi.
- It’s common knowledge that there’s a dress code. Men should avoid shorts and sleeveless shirts while women should cover most of their skin. If for some reason you can only wear any of the prohibited clothes or even after not doing so they still deem a part of your OOTD inappropriate, they have cloaks (nope, not like Harry’s) for both genders as already mentioned.
- Having said those, that doesn’t mean that you can actually wear the skimpiest of clothes. You’re in a holy place so be respectful and dress suitably.
- As far as I know, you can always ask to wear the traditional clothing even if you’re already properly dressed. If it won’t cause you discomfort, go for it for the experience. It’ll also make all the difference in your photos.
- There may be guided tours throughout the day so watch out for them to learn more about the building complex.
- IMO, visiting in the afternoon is the most ideal. It couldn’t be as hot as the rest of the day and you can stay past sunset to witness the complex transform when it becomes illuminated at night. I bet those reflecting pools do wonders!
- Food and drinks are verboten so to avoid the Hunger Games you might wanna refuel ahead if you intend to stay inside for a couple of hours.
Behind the Scenes
When it was time to share photos I found out that Min had snaps of me shooting this and that. The first on the list was my being a selfie lord. What can I say!? Selfie!
Then there were those that captured my earnestness in capturing the courtyard and ceilings, as if I had the most expensive camera that doesn’t deserve mediocrity.
Lastly, that moment when a family asked me to take their photo was also not spared. BTS was so good that I look like I actually know how to use a
DLRS DSLR. Say “Cheese~!”
Visited: November 2017