One of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen so far is the Temple of Sheikh Zayed in Abu Dhabi. The white mosque, harmonious lines resembles the Taj Mahal. Due to recent construction, it is even more striking.Wise Sheik Zayed decided to make this object devoted to religion. He wanted to send a message of understanding and international cooperation. Thus he encouraged non-Muslim tourists to visit Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, the sheikh died before the completion of his idea. He is buried in the vicinity of the mosque. Curious tourists guard his grave with care and cameras.
The construction lasted from 1996 to 2007 with the total value of the project of around $ 545 million. Everybody hides construction expenses. In fact, the mosque was built from donations. All the inhabitants of the Emirate gave their contribution. When you voluntarily give money for a higher goal, there is no talk of it! Artists from around the world took part in the construction of exterior and interior. The Mosque unites Arabic, Moroccan, Persian and Indian style. During the construction, the same marble was used as with the Taj Mahal. It has 80 dome and four minarets covering an area of 500,000 square meters.
How to come
From the main bus station, the line leads directly to the mosque. It only takes 15 minutes. The friendly staff working at the station will guide you to catch a bus / buy a Kalifat card with a supplement. Bus No. 54 lead to the mosque. You’d better not take a taxi because it is more expensive here than in Dubai.
The main pedestrian gateway is on the left side of the road if you are coming from the direction of the station. Upon entering the Mosque, they will send you to the room full of the abaya. This only applies if you are a woman. And you will have to wear this traditional dress. Men stay in their clothes.
Some ladies are posing in this dress in front of photographers. For others, it may seem too rude to wear the abaya. Because of the air-conditioned rooms, you have to wear long sleeves. Ordinary Texas jackets might be unpleasant in high outside temperatures. But abaya is made of fine silk, and is much more comfortable.
It is not allowed to bring food to the mosque. If you have snack supplies, you will have to leave it at the entrance. It will wait for you do not worry!
A crowd of people from all over the world rush to the main entrance. They stare at the entrance besieged by its appearance. Blue water highlights the entrance and the magnificent mosaic in the yard. Colorful flowers made in marble want to leave you indifferent.
Inside the Mosque
You enter the mosque barefoot. The left side is for tourists. You can see the right side only with a tour guide during group visits (10 to 11 am). I recommend this kind of tour, as you will learn a lot about the construction. As well as about life in the Emirates.
Walls are decorated with plants and a clock showing the time of prayer. Ceilings are like the dome and chandelier of the Swarovski crystal.
Largest carpet in the world
Inside the mosque, there is the largest carpet in the world.
Carpet weighs 35 tons with the area of 7110 m2. It is made of wool imported from New Zealand and Iran. The color is green, with pink floral motifs and it fits with the pink nuances of the mural on the walls. 96 pillars adhere to the main part of the mosque are grouped into four. The stubes are embroidered with pearls. Pearls have special significance for the Armenians. That was the major source of income before the production of artificial pearls has started. The wall facing the believers in prayer has a mihrab made of 24-carat gold. The rest is decorated with the names of Allah, written in Arabic. The chandeliers made in the form of palm trees with Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones contribute to the magnificence of the space. In this interior, they are monumental!
Heritage Village and Comiche
The Village of Heritage shows the ancient life of the Arab world. It provides insights into the everyday life of Bedouin through their performances in traditional clothes, and the presentation of handcrafts.The village’s heritage attempt is to bring some color to Dubai’s developing horizon from the 21st century. The emphasis is on the new creation of Bedouin way of life. Locals dressed in traditional clothes, display traditional handicrafts, songs and dances. You can also buy a traditional souvenir. There is also a small section for children with several elements for entertainment. The combination of the past and the future makes Dubai unique.
So much beauty, so much diversity, harmony, cleanliness… When something is so nice, it’s hard to describe it. Memories are a part of the testimony.