Duden Waterfall, Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Last day in Abu Dhabi... the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Most things in Abu Dhabi cost a fair bit of money. There are quite a few theme parks... Ferarri World, Warner Bros, Yas Island Waterworld, etc. And while they would be fun (and fairly expensive!) for a day, that's not what we came here for. 

But probably the most popular attraction in the city is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. And it's totally free to visit!

And we even had a free shuttle bus from our hotel that took us there. So, although we tried to go on Friday but were turned away because local religious rules that meant it didn't open until 3:00pm that day, at least it didn't cost us anything and we were able to return on Saturday.

Ruth had booked us timed entrance at 10:40am. It was definitely a lot busier than the day before!

Waiting to go through security.

They are very fussy with strict Muslim dress code. There seemed to be a little leeway with men, but women had to have their head and hair totally covered, and arms and legs covered down to the hands and feet. There were a lot of shops selling and renting the proper clothing for those who didn't come prepared.

The mosque took thirteen years to build, employing 3,000 workers between 1994 and 2007.

It is made of marble from North Macedonia and Italy.

There are 1,096 columns supporting the length of the outdoor arcade.

These are not painted on, they are inlaid in the marble.

Ruth and the main courtyard.

You had to follow a marked off route, and they had a lot of security guards making sure you didn't go where you weren't supposed to.

I like this photo.


Looking up.

Entrance to another prayer hall.

The clock telling the different prayer times that day.


The carpet in the main hall is the largest single carpet in the world.
It was hand made by 1,200 artisans, 

Another fancy chandelier.

Back outside.

Glad we went back during opening hours after our failed attempt to visit the day before. What a spectacular building, and I'm sure a couple of thousand years from now it'll still be standing. Still, a corner of my mind says it's hard to justify the amount of money and the opulence. It's more than a bit ostentatious. But, many other religions around the world do the same thing for their places of worship.

That was all we did on our last day in Abu Dhabi. We're glad we came to see the city, but don't feel the need to ever return. Maybe one day we'll use Dubai as a stopover so that we can see that city.

Next stop, the rarely visited country of Kuwait.

Record low deal on this Folding Utility Table.

And in Canada...


  1. Wow - spectacular is right! I don't remember ever seeing a flower/vine motif in a mosque before - usually it's some kind of geometric pattern. That inlaying probably took the entire 13 years to complete!
    In the picture titled "Entrance to another prayer hall" there are two randomly-shaped clusters of black dots on the walls. What are they there for?

    1. It really is stunning and it is supposed to be lit up beautifully at night to simulate the moon's phases as it throws shadows over the mosque. We have definitely never seen a mosque with these types of flower designs, especially inlaid ones. It is truly a masterpiece of art.

      We have no idea what they mean or what their purpose is. We hadn't even noticed them until you mentioned it. When I zoom in on them, they look like they are holes rather than dots and I tried to see if I could find any information about them on the internet but came up blank.

  2. We just finished a documentary on Turkmenistan. Sounds similar in terms of marble buildings and giant carpets!

    1. Yes, this mosque would totally fit right in with the white marble architecture in Ashgabat!


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