For one day of our trip, we were able to head to the capital of the UAE: Abu Dhabi. Here we were able to see some really great things and learn more about the country that we were in. The trip to Abu Dhabi is about two hours from Dubai, so we had a fun bus ride. By fun I mean a majority of us slept the whole time, but we all probably needed the extra sleep. Once we got there, we were brought to our first stop, the Louvre Abu Dhabi. But the second stop of the trip was my favorite part: Grand Mosque.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, or the Grand Mosque, is the largest mosque in the UAE and it is absolutely beautiful. All of the white and detail was amazing to look at from the outside. But before going in, we all covered our hair and bodies to be conservative for the religious aspects and then made our way in.
We were lucky enough to receive a VIP tour to learn more about the mosque. During this, the tour guide explained that there were over 80 domes in the church as well as some other crazy numbers about the number of things used to build the extravagant mosque. We also observed the grave that the mosque is dedicated to and learned some information about the burial process. We also were able to go inside the large prayer room that is not used daily, but only for special occasions. In there we were able to see some more amazing detail, like the magnificent chandeliers throughout the room. I loved being there and learning more about the religion.
After our tour, we had a chance to roam around and see some other things at the mosque. Rawya was very kind enough to let us watch her in the prayer process and let us in the Ladies Prayer room. We watched her in the ablution process and then we either observed the prayer process or participated by mimicking the prayer process. Since we were all covered appropriately, we all were able to respectfully enter. I mimicked alongside Rawya in the prayer process and that is something I will deeply appreciate and remember.
Of course, throughout the time there we all then got our pictures in. I think the greatest part about the time we visited the mosque was that we were able to see the place in daylight and at night. The cool thing about the mosque at night is the lighting. The light the whole place and the blue on the white was very extravagant and beautiful. It was a whole different way of looking at the building we originally arrived to see.
Overall, the trip to Abu Dhabi was a nice break from the tall towers of Dubai. I loved the Louvre there, but the Grand Mosque was my absolute favorite part of the day. Beautiful churches are always memorable for me, and I’ll never forget my trip there.