The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was completed in 2007. It took 11 years to build and is a “must see” when visiting Abu Dhabi. It was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's vision that the mosque would be a gathering point for all cultures and faiths of the world. The sheikh did not live to see the completion of the mosque as he passed away three year prior to full completion. His final resting place is adjacent to the mosque.
We arrived late afternoon in time for a 5 pm tour. Before we were allowed entry to the mosque we were led through an underground parkade to a wardrobe facility where female visitors were outfitted with an abaya and head scarf. The traditional rules and dress code of islamic women had to be observed to enter the mosque. The tour guide did thank the women for conforming to the rules while at the mosque.
The mosque offers many jaw dropping moments such as the main courtyard with enough room for 31000 worshippers, the main prayer area with the largest one piece hand made carpet in world, the six tones heavy chandeliers, over a thousand columns and 82 domes.