- Sheikh Zayed Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The full name of the mosque is Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, but it is also known to the locals as the Grand Mosque. It is one of the most beautiful, appease, heartwarming and harmonic mosques in the world. It is the biggest mosque of the United Arab Emirates, and one of the largest mosques worldwide.
The Grand Mosque was conceived by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan the ruler of Abu Dhabi and the late President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 1971-2004. The mosque also serves as his burial place.
The Mosque began in 1998 and was officially opened in 2007 during the holy month of Ramadan.
More than 3,000 workers and 38 renowned contracting companies took part in the construction of the Mosque. The natural materials used in its construction include white marble, gold, semi-precious stones and crystals.
The mosque is incredible in scale and execution. The design of the Mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Mughal and Moorish architecture.
The mosque accommodates over 40,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall can accommodate 7,000 worshipers. There are two smaller prayer halls, with a 1,500-capacity each, one of which is the female prayer hall.
There are four minarets on the four corners of the courtyard which rise about 107 m (351 ft) in height. Each of its four corner minarets is taller than St Paul’s Cathedral. The courtyard, with its floral design, measures about 17,000 m2 (180,000 sq ft), and is considered to be the largest example of marble mosaic in the world.
It features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns and 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers.
- Opening hours
Unlike other mosques in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning, which is for worshippers only.
- Interesting to know
- The mosque's first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site.
- The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet made by Iran's Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. The carpet was hand-made by 1,200 weavers who used 2,268,000 knots in its creation. It measures 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and its weight is 35 ton.
- Sheikh Zayed Mosque also features the world’s largest chandelier – one of seven copper and gold-plated chandeliers from Germany. The largest chandelier is 10 metres across and 15 metres high.
- The 99 names (qualities or attributes) of Allah (God) are featured on the Qibla wall in traditional Kufi calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher - Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi.