Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Without doubt, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the highlight of a trip to Abu Dhabi and a mere 20 minute drive from downtown; which is easily accessible in the reasonably priced taxis or on the Big Bus tour route! With an monstrous Persian carpet, crystal chandeliers and enough room for 41,000 worshipers it’s fair to say that the overstated opulence of the UAE extends to the Grand Mosque, but I just can’t deny what an amazing (and photogenic….and free!) sight it is. It may not have the history and romance of the Taj Mahal, but in terms of architectural grandiose it’s definitely up there! You’ll need to make sure that you’re suitably covered up if you want to visit (particularly the ladies). If you don’t have the appropriate clothing then you’ll be asked to don a rather fetching borrowed outfit which has seen the recent sweat of a thousand others (in other words – take your own long sleeved clothing). There are free tours throughout the day (follow the signs upon arrival) which are definitely worth doing. Beware; it gets extremely hot. Thankfully there’s an air conditioned café to cool off in!