The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the major sightseeing attraction and wows all who visit. But the city also makes a good base for excursions to the desert landscapes of Liwa Oasis and the oasis city of Al Ain
Clad in Macedonian marble, the beautiful and absolutely mammoth Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi's landmark building. The mosque fuses Mameluke, Ottoman and Fatamid design elements to create a harmonious and thoroughly modern mosque that celebrates Islamic architecture. Artisans utilised glass-work, mosaic tiling and intricate carvings to spectacular effect on both the interior and exterior. It was opened in 2007 after nearly 20 years of construction.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was initiated by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, the historical and modern values of architecture and art His final resting place is located on the grounds beside the same mosque. The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007.It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The building complex measures approximately 290 m (960 ft) by 420 m (1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), exclusive of exterior landscaping and vehicle parking
As the country's grand mosque, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid it can be visited by more than 40,000 people.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC) offices are located in the east minarets. SZGMC manages the day-to-day operations, as a place of worship and Friday gathering, and also a center of learning and discovery through its educational cultural activities and visitor programs.
The library, located in the north/east minaret, serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, coins and includes some rare publications dating back more than 200 years. In reflection of the diversity of the Islamic world and the United Arab Emirates, the collection comprises material in a broad range of languages, including Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Korean.
Able to hold 40,000 worshippers, it is the biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and, like the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah, is dedicated to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan. Non-Muslims are allowed into all areas of the mosque (including the vast library), and there are also guided tours available.