A Real Aladdin's Palace: Sheikh Zayed Mosque
As I sit at my desk, wrapped up in my woollen cardigan and sipping a nice cup of tea, it seems crazy that 3 days ago I was in a 35 degree Abu Dhabi. Not that it isn't a beautiful sunny day here in London, it's just nowhere near as warm at 10 degrees. However, in less than two weeks we will be flying to Bangkok (OMG) so I really can't complain.
Looking back on our holiday, one of my favourite places was definitely the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, better known as 'The Great Mosque'. It is considered the key site for worship in the UAE, not surprising considering it has a capacity of around 41,000 people. This place is absolutely HUGE and can be seen along the skyline. From our hotel window it looked very close by, even though it took about a 15 minute drive to get there. A trip to Abu Dhabi just would not be complete without a visit here, it is honestly one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen and I am very fortunate being able to say I have seen a lot of places.
Once you arrive in the MASSIVE car park, you then make your way into a small security area, where you enter through either the male or female entrance. As I made clear in my last Au Dhabi post, their culture and religion sees males and females on different levels, there is an especially prominent divide in places of worship and this must be respected. Stupidly, I only packed shorts for this holiday, but upon arrival if women are not wearing correct clothing you are given a traditional dress (as you can see me modelling on the left) which, they are very nice about. My 4 year old sister got away with it, but my Mother and myself had to accept the heat of wearing a polyester dress on top of our clothes. For this reason I suggest visiting at night when the temperature is much more manageable, also because the pretty lights just add to the sheer beauty of this place.
There are areas that only worshippers are allowed into, which I am extremely jealous of as I can't even begin to imagine their grandeur based on the outside of the Mosque. But of course it can
be understood, the Mosque is of course a place of worship and should be treated as such no matter your own personal beliefs. For this reason it is very important respect is shown, visitors should not show any public displays of affection and no running around or talking above a normal noise level. Luckily my younger Brother and Sister decided they were going to behave so all was well.
I would 100% recommend visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque, I mean would you just look at it. I don't know how you wouldn't want to after seeing pictures, but nothing will prepare you for the immensity.
More photos on my Instagram ~ Lon x