My arrival at the rather mundane International Airport
certainly did not prepare me for what we could see from our hotel
This is the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
And if I thought that it looked awesome from a distance,
when we visited it I was overawed by its beauty and vast size.
The design and construction used materials and artisans from all over the world.
It was built by an Italian company.
By night, lit in blue, it dominates the Abu Dhabi skyline.
The Mosque was initiated by the late President of the UAE,
Sheikh Zayed bin SultanAl Nahyan who wanted it to unite
the cultural diversity of the Islamic world.
He is buried in a mausoleum on the grounds of the mosque
Construction lasted from 1996 to 2007
and it is the largest mosque in the UAE.
Excluding the gardens and parking,
the building measure 290m x 420m and covers 12 hectares
The pools are designed to reflect the columns by day or night.
The unique lighting system is designed to reflect the phases of the moon
The design of the mosque draws heavily on a variety of styles.
Specifically Persian, Mughal and Moorish
There is a library on the premises that serves the community with classic books
and publications on a variety of Islamic subjects.
Interestingly enough, one of the languages represented in the collection is Korean.
This courtyard covers 17000 square meters.
Walking though the mosque, a visitor has to be aware to look up
constantly as there is beauty 360 degrees.
The mosaics at the entrance are works of art.
As is the flower theme that runs through the building.
It can be seen in the floors
And also on the walls in 3D!
One of the minarets,(107m tall) lit by the early morning sun
The external cladding, which came from Macedonia,
covers 115,119 square meters!
The foyer of the main prayer hall
The mosque can accommodate 40000 worshipers!
I though that this flower was lit from above.
I was wrong, it, together with others like it,
are lit from below.
The carpet here is well worth a mention...
It covers almost 6000 square meters and was made by 1300 carpet knotters
Predominately made of wool, it weighs in at 35 ton and has
It took 2 years to complete.
The seven imported chandeliers come from Germany and incorporates
millions of Swarovski crystals.
There are 96 columns in the main prayer hall.
These are some of the most ornate prayer books I have seen
Some of the intricate details that can be found on the doors
Factual information on the mosque comes from:
Visitors will have to bend over backwards to get the full beauty
of this incredible building.
A must visit destination while in Abu Dhabi!
To find out more: