Remember way back in October when we went to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for our week long Eid break? No? Maybe this will refresh your memory….here, here, here, and here. One thing I never wrote about was the tour we took of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and it is far too awesome to just skip over!
Mosques are everywhere in Kuwait, I heard a fact that no matter where you are in Kuwait there is a mosque within a five minute walk from you. I have no idea if this is true or not, but with the amount of mosques we come across on a daily basis, I would not be the least bit surprised. So when we left for vacation, and I really wanted to go to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, I think Mitch was a bit surprised that would be my choice, but as always he quickly jumped on board with seeing something new. We arrived at the Grand Mosque an hour or two before sunset and realized that the term “Grand” was the understatement of the year. This place was gigantic! The Mosque itself covers 30 acres, this number does not include the parking areas or the outdoor landscaped areas. It is big enough for 40,000 people worship at once. This tour focused mostly on the building and architectural features. The design and the materials come from all over the world to symbolize how the Islamic faith is all over the world. Materials came from Morocco, Italy, Pakistan, Malaysia, Germany, New Zealand and the UAE to name a few. Of course as we entered into the interior of the Mosque, out of respect to the Islamic faith, we removed our shoes before we entered to prevent any dirt from the outside, from entering the inside of the Mosque. The tile and glass work was amazingly beautiful. Each small detail had been carefully planned out with a symbolic meaning attached to it.
One thing we have noticed a bit as we learn more about different Mosques around the world is that there appears to be a bit of a competition amongst themselves. Which Mosque has the biggest dome, which one is the tallest, etc. etc. etc. This Mosque was no different. Out tour guide made sure to point out to us their bragging rights….Largest chandelier…check…until the Grand Mosque in Doha put up one even bigger. I can’t imagine a chandelier bigger than this one. The picture truly doesn’t do it justice, but inside the chandelier is a set of stairs to help out the cleaners, that’s right STAIRS inside of the chandelier!
The carpet inside the main prayer hall is the largest known continuous piece of carpet in the world. The part though that was most impressive to me was the view of the Mosque from the outside once it got dark outside. The soft light given off from the hallways light the area up so beautifully. This guy, looked pretty great too!
It was a wonderful tour, all completely complementary and gave me yet another layer of understanding about the Islamic faith and the Arab culture.