Thursday, November 4, 2010

Abu Dhabi & Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

After our desert safari we went to Abu Dhabi, another Emirate. We have some good friends living there who we met while living in Thailand. Steve, Lavul and Vicky and we stayed with them for 2 nights and see the surroundings of Abu Dhabi. Which is totally different from Dubai.



Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

1. Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE, and holds more political significance.

2. Dubai is busy and over crowded, with higher living expenses than Abu Dhabi.

3. Dubai is the business hub of many national and international companies.

4. Abu Dhabi is richer, and its net income level growth rate is higher than Dubai’s.

5. Dubai has more influence from western culture, whereas Abu Dhabi holds more traditional values.

Although Abu Dhabi has BIG plans to compete with Dubai, it's already planning LOADS of projects like he Sorbonne, Cleveland Clinic, Guggenheim, and Louvre are on the way and they are building everywhere!! Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the richest city in the world. The emirate's 420,000 citizens, who sit on one-tenth of the planet's oil and have almost $1 trillion invested abroad, are worth about $17 million apiece. (A million foreign workers don't share in the wealth.)

But it doesn't look as glitzy as Dubai YET! So from the party scene back into more a real life living. Our friends are expats and work and live in Abu Dhabi for a few years. The same kind of lifestyle we are living. So we hang out with them, relaxed, the girls loved hanging out with their 10-year old daughter and we of course had some great dinners and lunches together. Visited a beautiful Souk and one of the largest Mosque in the world. OMG this piece of architecture is GRANDIOSE, IMMENSE, IMPRESSIVE, and just plain GORGEOUS!!



Our friends had never visited this mosque either, so on the second day we all went to have a look at this famous mosque. Since most of our places we had been to in Dubai they were on the list of World Records, well this mosque also has a few world records! With all that money that the Emirates have they HAVE to beat those records, what else will you do with your money??

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Located in a strategic area, between the two bridges in the capital (Mussafah Bridge and Maqta Bridge) the huge imposing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest and grandest mosques in the world.

Named after Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President of the UAE, the landmark mosque accommodates more than 40,000 worshippers.

When we go in, the women have to cover themselves completely in those black dresses called ABAYA. Which all local women wear in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The sun is sweltering hot and I can't image how those women cope with that those black abaya's all day long!! The girls just need to cover their hair with a shawl.



Here we are all covered in those hot abaya's.



The beautiful mosque also known as Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque is completely clad in the finest white marble covering an area of more than 22,000sq m and includes four 107m-tall minarets and 57 domes. Elaborate extensive floral designs decked with precious stones adorn the several walls, pillars and the 7,000 sq m courtyard of the mosque.



The mosque’s grand carpet from Iran, which measures 5,627 sq m and weighs 47 tonnes is the largest carpet in the world. In addition, the world's biggest Swarovski crystal bejeweled gold-plated chandelier from Germany measuring 10m in diameter and 15m tall is housed in the main prayer hall.



The Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque also houses the mausoleum of the late President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The men's prayer room, with the huge thick carpet. Everything is very posh, glimmer and glamour.



The women's prayer room, more modest, but still beautiful!



Here a view from inside to the court yard through those beautiful windows.



Everything is white marble, this is done for a reason, since it is cool underneath your feet, since you have to walk bare feet!





The details inside the mosque are gorgeous! Everywhere you look it is covered with gold leaf, precious gemstones, the best marble in the world. It is overwhelming beautiful. Pictures just don't do justice to this piece of beauty!



So many pictures I took, but still find that the essence of the beauty I could not capture on film. You just have to see it for yourself!



This mosque is so AMAZING! I have never seen such a serene and beautiful well thought piece of architecture... it truly is STUNNING!! And even though I am not muslim, I felt at peace in there. Worth checking out when you are in Abu Dhabi!!

The Arabian world is full of mystery and walking here in this huge mosque I feel THAT mystery all around me with the women sliding in their black abaya's and the men in their white robes, it is so serene and peaceful a very special memory visiting this mosque!

Another great day!
Mireille

8 comments:

Wendy said...

Mireille,
Those mosques are absolutely stunning. So clean looking in their design yet so ornate at the same time.

Love the girls head coverings!

Wyndee said...

Beautiful!

Boonie S said...

Fascinating post. Thanks for this.

All the best, Boonie

Gem said...

I love reading your travelling blogs, I seem to end up jotting down places to go on a wish list every time I pop by!

Maci Miller said...

OK OK! I DO want to see it myself! You are killing me with these posts! :-)

Only kidding, of course, but MAN these pics are gorgeous. I would love to see it all and experience such a unique culture.

Maci Miller said...

BTW - what were the girls reaction to all of this magnificence vs how women have to cover up and all that?

Annie said...

AMAZING architecture! Wow!

shamraiz said...

I love reading traveling blogs, I seem to end up jotting down places to go on a wish list every time I wish i could visit
Abu Dhabi Desert Safari when i got some time from my busy life with my buddies ......

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