Colors + Patterns at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Colors + Patterns at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Before visiting Abu Dhabi, I kept coming across images of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Each image I saw featured the mosque’s exterior: domes and towering minarets with gold plated embellishments, calming pools of azure water, an enormous tiled courtyard. Instagram post after post featured abaya-clad ladies striking a pose in front of one of the mosque’s ubiquitous archways. So while I was expecting to be blown away by the mosque’s exterior, I wasn’t quite ready to be as impressed with the inside. But “impressed” would be understating the elation and sheer awe I felt as we entered and explored the mosque’s interior.

The last time I was as moved by the interior of an edifice was when I gasped – I mean, literally lost my breath – upon walking into the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. Given the fact that the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque also features Ottoman architecture, perhaps I should’ve been better prepared to be stunned. But I wasn’t.

The massive mosque which can accommodate over 40,000 worshippers, is literally a work of art that also combines Mamluk and Fatimid architectural styles. The construction represents Sheikh Zayed’s belief that nothing is impossible and that the greatest achievements start from the heart. It took the skill of thousands of workers to bring the sheikh’s vision to life using materials sourced from countries around the world including Greece, Austria, Italy, China, Germany, India, New Zealand, and not to mention the white marble found throughout from Macedonia.

Multi-colored marble, crowned columns, and a multitude of colors and patterns are evident everywhere you look throughout the mosque from the glasswork and mosaics to the carpets and chandeliers. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque represents Islamic architecture and design at its finest, and I’m definitely a fan. Here, I’m sharing several photos from our visit in hopes that you’ll become a fan too.

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*Headed to Abu Dhabi? A visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is not to be missed. Click here for info to plan your visit. 

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So, what do you think about the mosque’s design?

  • Simply stunning, this is so on my bucket list. Your pictures are so life like. I love the collaborative effort in the building process.

    • Thanks, Mimi! I agree – I was surprised to learn that they sourced materials from so many countries around the world.

  • Deidre Harris McMillan

    The Mosque is amazing and your pictures made me feel like I was right there with you! Beautiful!

  • Amazing! I haven’t been yet, but planning to get over there soon. Every time I see things like that I think of how skilled the artisans were and how time consuming creating such art must’ve taken. Great photos.

    • Thanks, Mimi! My thoughts exactly regarding the skill and dedication it took to build this. Even the Persian carpet inside is incredible and made by hand.

  • You took some real beautiful pictures. Lovely scenery. Everyone seems to be going to Dubai lately maybe I will go next year…I have too many other trips to consider this year to come but I am inspired by you.

    • Thanks so much Kiwi. Glad to lend some inspiration! 🙂

  • Valerie Robinson

    This is beyond beautiful! Had to be such a wonderful experience for you!

  • Oh wow, what an amazing experience! I would love to visit! Your pictures make me feel like I’m right there. Simply beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Thanks so much! 🙂 It really was amazing to see it in person.

  • This is such a beautiful place. You got some amazing shots. When we visited it was so hot, I couldn’t stay too long. But, I’d definitely revisit.

    • Thanks, Kim. It was really hot when we visited too and I found myself wondering how the women survive in abayas all day. Glad you got to experience this mosque for yourself!

  • Donna Shana

    Beautiful! Beautiful! The photos are simply amazing, I cannot image how much better it is in person. I am so jealous.

    • Thanks so much, Donna! I hope you make it to Abu Dhabi.

  • J King

    Breathtaking photos! My goodness! Intricate detailing everywhere!I bet that was an awesome experience.

  • Eva

    Wow! Those photos are fabulous. They definitely make me want to add the mosque to the list of must see places.

    • Thanks, Eva! Yes, a visit to this mosque is a must if you ever find yourself in Abu Dhabi.

  • Frank Thomae

    Looks absolutely fabulous! Gorgeous photos. I can’t imagine the money or the time spent building that.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Thanks so much, Frank! If anyone has money for these kinds of pursuits, it’s definitely the sheikhs of the UAE. 🙂

  • Kemkem

    Absolutely fantastic! Dare l say it looks even better than the Blue Mosque which l thought was damn impressive. I love the white marble and the climbing vine design on the walls. The chandeliers are insanely beautiful too. This alone would make the trip worthwhile for me. Awesome images Missy! 🙂

    • Yes, it’s definitely prettier than the Blue Mosque. I actually think the Hagia Sofia is prettier than the Blue Mosque too. I gasped when I entered the doors of the Hagia Sofia – like literally lost my breath. Glad you like my pics, but the mosque is 100 times more impressive in person! 🙂

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