Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – When crossing the bridges from the mainland of UAE to Abu Dhabi, one structure stands out for its majesty. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an impressive welcome to the city with its 80 marble domes on a roofline held aloft by more than 1,000 pillars and four 107m-high minarets. Conceived by the first president of the UAE, Sheik Zayed, the mosque is able to accommodate 41,000 worshippers. It is also one of the few in the region that is open to non-Muslims as well.
The interior of the mosque is even more impressive and is a masterpiece of modern Islamic architecture and design. Islamic motifs, such as floral geometric patterns, are inlaid with semiprecious stones. In the main prayer hall, three steel, gold, brass and crystal chandeliers sparkle with Swarovski crystals. The prayer hall also has the world’s largest loomed carpet, made over two years by 1,200 craftsmen, that features a medallion design with elaborate arabesque motifs.
Al Mina Fish Market – Can a trip to the Middle East be really complete without a visit to their world-famous souks (marketplace)? Don’t miss your chance to visit some of the most stimulating enclaves in Abu Dhabi. One of the more popular ones includes Al Mina Fish Market, a Tsukijt (Tokyo) Arabian comparative, located near the Dhow Harbour.
The large fish market is a visual feast of colour with the neatly displayed rows of blue-grey prawns, orange-spotted trevally, blue-shelled crabs, red snappers, and a host more other unlikely seafood lying on trays of ice. For a truly memorable meal, select your choice of seafood to be gutted and prepared, as well spices from around the market. Hand the whole lot over to the cooks at the back of the spice area, who will cook up a fragrant seafood curry or simply grill the seasoned seafood. The finished dish is best enjoyed on the harbour outside.