Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Abu Dhabi’s most visited Site

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the most visited site in Abu Dhabi.

The project was launched by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), SheikhZayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. His final resting place is located on the grounds beside the same mosque. The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates.

Mosque etiquette requires all visitors to wear long, loose-fitting, ankle-length trousers or skirts, long sleeves and a headscarf for women. Those not dressed appropriately are asked to go to the basement, where hooded abeyyas and kanduras can be borrowed for free.

The world’s largest hand woven carpet adorns the floor of the main prayer hall and was made by Iran’s Carpet Company of wool from both Iran and New Zealand. The hand knotted carpet, made by 1200 women from the Khorasan region of Iran over the course of two years, measures 60,570 square feet and weighs in at 47 tons.

These are a few of the 82 domes and two of the four minarets. There is a minaret at each of the four corners of the Mosque.

The pinnacles of the domes are gilded.

The 1000 columns of the exterior are decorated with over 20,000 marble panels inlaid with semi-precious stones including abalone shell, amethyst, lapis lazuli, mother of pearl, and red agate.

Hexagonal Columns reflect in the pool. The Mosque was originally Moroccan in design but evolved to include other designs e.g Turkish, Pakistani.

Constantly trying to fix my headscarf

Mihrab type entrance.

Kufi caligrapghy (in the ceiling) is used throughout the Mosque.

Another view of the domes.

Delicate floral design on the exterior columns.

One of the four minarets.

A view of a dome from below

Colonnaded walkway – palm tree styled. White marbled floor. Symmetry everywhere.

Marbled courtyard. The column the arch and the dome are described as the trinity of Islamic architecture.

The courtyard is marbled tiled with various floral patterns which include lily, lavender, tulip, iris and ivy.

Another of the Swarovski crystal chandelier just outside the main prayer room.

Entrance to the main prayer hall. Intricate floral motifs are ubiquitous.

Emirati in charge of the security detail at the Mosque. The carpet can be seen here.

The ten adhans or prayer clocks were made in London, England and displays the sunrise and sunset times and the five daily call to prayer times. The five call to prayer times vary slightly with the sunrise and sunset times.

There are seven 24 karat gold gilded chandeliers, made by Faustig in Munich, Germany, which are encrusted with approximately 40 million pieces of Swarovski crystals from Austria. The crowning glory which hangs from the central dome, is the chandelier which is one of the world’s largest inside a mosque, measures 10 meters wide and 15 meters high, and weighs 12 tons. The glassworks are from Murano, Italy.

In the background, the wall of Allah features the 99 qualities of Allah.

The Qilba faces Mecca.

Exterior of the Mosque

As the sun sets.

Columns domes and minarets begin to light up as the sun sets.

Beautiful manicured gardens surround the Mosque.

Did you know?

In Abu Dhabi, there is only one muatheen—that is, the man who calls the worshipers to prayer five times per day.  Yes, just one. His athan (call to prayer) is not recorded, but is projected live from all mosques in Abu Dhabi.

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