Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque reflects the spirit of Islam, a religion of peace, education and tolerance. It is also arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society; and one of the most beautiful in the world. It is seen as a globally unifying landmark from its conception to completion, bringing together designers, features, materials and suppliers from nearly every corner of the globe. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open for everyone and travelers of all nationalities to visit and appreciate the artistic splendor of the mosque, take an informative tour or simply get in to soak up the tranquility and architectural greatness. It is one of the best attractions to see in Abu Dhabi during your stay in the city.
Initiated by the late President of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Grand Mosque design and construction were done using natural materials including gold, marble, stone, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics. Though the planning to build the Mosque began in the late 1980s, its construction started only in 1996. The maximum capacity is approximately 41,000 people. The Mosque has 1,096 columns in its exterior and 96 columns in the main prayer hall which are embedded with more than 20,000 handmade marble panels encrusted with semi-precious stones, including lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone shell and mother of pearl. Artificial lakes, totaling 7,874 square metres and laden with dark tiles, surround the Mosque. Italian white marble and inlaid floral designs adorn the prayer halls and the Mosque’s interior walls have decorative 24 carat gold-glass mosaic features. To get an opportunity to see all these world’s best and largest attractions, visiting the Grand Mosque is to be included in your things to do list in Abu Dhabi.
The pools along the arcades reflect the Grand Mosque’s spectacular columns, which becomes even more glamorous at night. It is a beautiful experience to watch the Mosque during night. It is better to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the evening just before sunset so that the travelers will get an amazing opportunity to view both the sunset and night views of its breathtaking exterior. The unique lightning system reflecting the phases of the moon was designed by lightning architects Jonathon Speirs and Major. Beautiful bluish gray clouds are projected onto the external walls and every day the mosque and ambience appear little different under light shades.
The Mosque grounds hosts the final resting place of the president of UAE, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was buried in the courtyard of the Mosque after his death on 3rd November 2004. Photography is permitted inside and outside the mosque except for the grave of Sheikh Zayed and the area around the tomb.
• The mosque has the world's largest carpet at 7,119 square metres from Iran
• The world's largest chandelier from Germany made from one million Swarovski crystals.
• It has 28 types of marble and 24-carat gold throughout
• The 22,412 square metre mosque site equates to around the size of five football fields.
• More than 3,000 workers and 38 renowned contracting companies took part in the construction work.
• The mosque has 82 domes all of traditional Moroccan design - all decorated with white marble.
• The main dome's outer shell is 32.8 metres in diameter and stands at a height of 70 metres from the inside and 85 metres from the outside.
Grand Mosque Guided Tours
Location of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Getting in to Sheikh Zayed Mosque
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