Abu dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is the second mot populous city after Dubai. We planned a quick getaway to the city and here’s what our visit looked like. There are a lot of iconic landmarks in the city but none is greater than the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is an enchanting structure made in pristine white, embellished with hints of gold and glittering pools of blue.
We started the journey around 3.30 in the afternoon and dressed right for the weather. We downed a heavy lunch so we would make it to the city with satisfied tummies. We switched on our maps and headed in the direction it pointed. The drive is fairly easy as the road moves smoothly in nearly a straight line. Hit cruise control on your car and you are set for the trip. It gets hot so pack enough liquids for the drive. There was ample parking space available once we arrived. There are no admission charges.
What to wear:
They have a warm weather during the month of August and temperature was about 40 deg C during my visit. When visiting the mosque, make sure you are dressed as per the norms. Avoid wearing clothes which are short in length, arms are not fully covered (for women only), torn jeans, tight or transparent clothing, uncovered head or any tattoos showing. Don’t stress, if you are not dressed appropriately the guards at the entry will direct you to the basement where you can borrow an abaya (loose black robe for women) or kandura (loose white robe for men). You need to give them an ID for deposit; passports and Emirates ID is not accepted; you can show your driving license from any country. The garments are arranged in a neat fashion having different lengths and sizes. Upon return we were handed back our ID and the garments were sent for cleaning before being handed over to the next person.
There are guided tours that you can be a part of that begin in the basement and is a free tour. In case you happen to miss it (like us), you can choose to take an audio visual guide which is also available for no cost. As you enter you are immersed in the breathtaking beauty of the mosque. It is built in white marble as it is said to symbolize peace and serenity. They have pristine blue watered pools outside. The columns have intricate detailing and gold palm leaves on the top.
The main hall is decorated with the world’s largest hand knotted carpet decked and crystal chandeliers on the ceiling. It is a beauty to discover all the intricacies of this wondrous construction. If you though it is pretty in the day, just wait around for nighttime when the palace comes alive with a beautiful golden glow from the lights.
You can check out this link for Guided tour timings and other details: