Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Abu Dhabi and is the main place of worship for Friday prayers. Named after the founder and first president of the UAE, it is the third largest mosque in the world. During the very holy days in Islam up to 40,000 people come to worship. Besides being a place of worship it is also the center of learning and discovery through its educational, cultural and visitors programs. The mosque was designed and constructed using a verity of artisans and materials from around the world. Built by an Italian company who over looked 3,000 workers and some 38 contractors to complete this beautiful complex. The design is described as a “fusion” of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.
The main prayer hall can accommodate over 7,000 worshipers and is larger enough to hold over 40,000 when including the outer courtyards. There is also a smaller hall to hold 1,500 females.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has many unique characteristics. The Iranian made carpet in the main hall to said to be the largest carpet in the world measuring 60,570 sq ft. The size of football field is 48,000 sq ft. It took 1,200 workers two years to make, weighs 35 tons and it took 5 planes to ship it to the mosque. It has seven 24 carat gold glided chandeliers made in Munich Germany by the Faustig company. It includes millions of Swarovski crystals that are cleaned every 9 months. The main chandeliers is the third largest in the world.
The Shelkh loved the color white, he said it represents faith and purity. He had the purest marble from Greek and Italy used for the exterior construction. There are over 1,000 columns, many with inlaid mother of pearl. It features 82 domes, the main dome being the largest mosque dome in the world.
The striking white and gold colors shining in the midday sun turns to different shades of blue at night to reflect the phases of the moon.
While in Abu Dhabi, M.E. and I had the opportunity to visit the mosque and go on a guided tour. Below are some pictures. Please enjoy.
shade of blue to reflect the phase of the moon