UAE – Abu Dhabi

This morning we did a day trip to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. This post will mostly be pictures, because “amazing” won’t sound the same the 15th time.

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We got there just before it opened at 9, which was absolutely the best thing to do. The picture above was taken just a few steps out of the car. The peace and quiet of the morning was the perfect was to approach something as magnificent as this.

We made sure to dress modestly, and made it inside without any difficulty. The mosque has 82 domes and has a capacity of 41,000 people. The entrance is pretty, well, grand.

Walking through the entrance, you find yourself in a giant courtyard.

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In the entry way by the drinking water are these:

We turned left here to walk around the courtyard through a hall lined with pillars.

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The water on the outside looks like this:

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and the rest of the hall:

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Can it possibly get better? Yes. Yes it can.

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The first chandelier.

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I think I love Islamic art and architecture. Among other things, it’s mathematically beautiful. The chandelier comes out of the centre of inscribed pentagons, it has 5 large petals and 5 small petals. I guess the diamonds help too.

Anyways, right when I got over the awe of this room, I stepped into the main prayer hall.

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And just like that, everything I thought I knew about chandeliers was gone. Seriously though, wasn’t expecting that.

The rug is the biggest in the world and took 2 years to complete.

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The combined effect is truly amazing.

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The crowds had arrived by the time we were leaving, so I’ll be taking this as a valuable travelling lesson. Seeing the mosque with so few people around was beautiful. This was only an hour drive from Dubai; I think I’m going to enjoy the distances in smaller countries.

This was the first mosque I’d ever been to, (quite the start eh?), and I loved it. The art, architecture, culture, it’s all beautiful.

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