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The UAE capital is often overshadowed by the famous landmarks and luxury of its neighbour Dubai, but the city has plenty to offer as a hub of art and culture, including some of the most awe-inspiring buildings in the world.

There are many outstanding sights to tempt curious visitors, or even those who happen to be on an extra-long stopover between flights.

Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque

Photo: Sheik Zayed

Opened in 2007, this is easily one of the most awe-inspiring mosques in the world, especially with it’s white marble minarets glimmering against the bright blue desert sky.

Capable of holding 41,000 worshippers at a time, the complex includes 82 domes and 1000 columns, inlaid with 24 carat gold. Inside are seven of the largest chandeliers ever created and the world’s largest hand-knitted carpet.

It was designed by Sheik Zayed, who is buried on site and whose vision of uniting the world through Persian, Moorish and Moghul architecture took eleven years to build.

There are free guided tours in English at various times of day, just make sure you follow the dress code.

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