Sheikh Zayed: A unique mosque of the Middle East

Located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed mosque is the great architecture of the UAE, attracting millions of visitors each year since its inauguration.

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Sheikh Zayed is the third largest mosque in the world. The total area of the project is 22,412 m2, equivalent to 4 professional football fields.

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This work began in 1996, but it took 12 years to complete. The total amount of construction investment was announced nearly 545 million USD.

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The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which houses more than 40,000 people at the same time, now owns three world records, including the largest handwoven carpet, largest chandelier and largest dome.

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The mosque was named after the first UAE president, Sheikh Zayed. He was also the initiator of this massive religious sanctuary. At the wishes of the president, his body was buried at a tomb inside the church, after his death in 2004.

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The architecture of the Sheikh Zayed mosque is distinctive when it is designed to be subtle in every detail. The entire building has a total of 1,096 supporting pillars on the outer campus, 96 columns in the main hall covered with precious stones and seven 24K gold-plated chandeliers, and millions of Swarovski crystals.

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Inside the mosque is white marble, creating a pure and elegant look. In addition to the main name, this place is also known as the "diamond on the crown" of the United Arab Emirate.

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In 2017, the Sheikh Zayed mosque welcomed 3.4 million tourists from around the world, especially Muslims. Also in this year, the site was voted by the prestigious travel site-Tripadvisor as the favorite destination No. 2 on the charts, surpassing the ranking of St. Peter's Basilica (Vatican) and the Taj Mahal (India).

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This popular place of the Middle East has been visited by many celebrities such as Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla. Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and other celebrities also made a lot of compliments when they came to this place.

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The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open to the public free of charge from 9 am to 10 pm daily except Mondays, opening hours are from 16h30. To learn more about the culture, religion, and architecture of this great place, visitors are advised to book a free tour guide with an hour.

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In addition, the perfect time to take beautiful pictures at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is at sunset. Guests are encouraged to book a sightseeing tour at 17h to experience the magnificent space of the mosque under the sunset.

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All visitors to the Sheikh Zayed Church are required to dress in a discreet manner. Women must wear clothing covering the entire body from top to bottom while men must wear long pants. The church also offers free traditional costumes for visitors unprepared. In addition, all footwear must be left in the outer area before entering. So, if you do not want to go barefoot, you should prepare your socks before coming here.

By: Mithrine Smith

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