Vapor rub your mind, body and soul at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre. It's the Taj Mahal of the Arabian Gulf, the beacon of civilisation, traditions and thoughts of the Middle East, UAE's inimitable masterpiece and the eighth largest mosque in the world as well as a tourist magnet.
It's a once in a lifetime boost; the moment you step into Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's gates you'll feel like you've entered a living daydream of white, blue and silent music…it's as if the white pigeons hovering above your head have lifted all your everyday troubles and flew away with them. So no need for excessive meditation efforts at home, simply head to Sheikh Zayed Mosque and you will meet your long lost muse at a place not very far from bliss.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is where art from all over the world, imagination prosperity, sanctity and Sheikh Zayed's memorial; the sole founder of the UAE come together in just one place.
Though this place sounds magical on many levels but fairies and sprites had nothing to do with this; it took a lot of time, hard work and effort to portray such a heavenly abode. It all began with Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who wasn't just another UAE heir president and ruling wasn't handed to him on a silver plate, on the contrary; he was the youngest of Al Nahyan, there was no UAE, back then it was divided into seven states and life was very primitively limited along with severe weather conditions.
But things turned around when he was appointed to rule Abu Dhabi in 1966, from which he made humongous exertions in uniting all the seven emirates under one regulation and one name only "UAE" that we now know and love, Hence he was the first UAE president and the country has flourished immensely under his reign in many many aspects such as housing, education, facilities and most importantly the green lands; that's why he was always remembered by "the man who turned desert green". He was loved by everyone, mistreated no one and he was the one who dreamt of and initiated the establishment of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where his reliquary lies on its grounds.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque will feast your eyes with artistic impressions from Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and United Arab Emirates. But try to wear shades to avoid the glare of the really natural materials used in the making of the mosque like; gold, marble stones, crystals, semi-precious stones and ceramic. So I guess you'd save yourself an around the world in 80 days trip by just one visit.
If you think that you'll be jam-packed the time you'll visit, you should know that it's literally the largest mosque you'll ever see; it's almost the size of five football fields, it can bear more than 40,000 people on its grounds.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque also embraces a huge library with different books about Arabic and Islamic traditions, science, art and researches in every language possible. It also hosts monthly events like; photography contests, summer courses, workshops and others along with guided tours and visitor services. And It's really easy to get there:
Entrance Gates & Car Parking: Visitors can enter the mosque from the SOUTH Gate car park entrance and there is ample parking available.
After Arrival: From the car park, you will be directed to the EAST side of the mosque where your tour will commence. The Visitor Experience Coordinator and your SZGMC Guide will be waiting for you. (Look for the 'Tour Starts Here' sign). Photos can be taken while you wait for your tour to start! Taxi: Abu Dhabi's TRANSAD offer pick-up services by calling their hotline (toll free) number 600535353 or www.transad.ae. You may walk to the taxi designated area in the north car park and wait.
Bus Services: The closest bus station is located approximately 10 minutes walking distance and operates services that take you inside the city.
So prepare your cameras and If you feel that your heart is racing and your feet are a bit lighter, don't worry it's just the mosque symptoms kicking in.