Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was a dream in the heart of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan “May God rest his Soul”, where he established its general vision, set its foundation stone, and crowned thereby a journey full of fulfilled dreams and great achievements. The Mosque is an expression of a visionary leader who believed that nothing is impossible and conceived that the most gracious achievements start from the heart.The Mosque is the fruit of Sheikh Zayed’s unique vision. The father of the UAE has created an Islamic monument, a center for Islamic sciences and an emblem of genuine Islamic values, in order to illuminate the horizons of Islamic thought rooted in tolerance, love and peace.To establish a historical Mosque, personifying the Islamic message of peace, tolerance and diversity. He intended to turn the Grand Mosque into a living reference in modern Islamic architecture linking the past with the present in a harmonious melody.
As a testament to the vision of its founder, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque sits majestically at the entrance to Abu Dhabi City Island, distinctly visible from the three main bridges connecting the island to the main land, the Maqta, Mussafah and the Sheikh Zayed Bridge. The strategic geographical location of the Mosque is a symbolic expression of the emotional connection the Mosque has in the hearts of all UAE citizens particularly because the burial place of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, first President of the UAE, is located beside the mosque.
The concept of diversity is personified in Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a majestic marvel that reveals a spectrum of architectural splendors formulating a harmonious unity between different Islamic architectural schools. This architectural work of art is one the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshipers. It features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 meters in diameter, 15 meters in height and weighing twelve tonnes. The mosque’s first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site.Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty. The striking white and gold colors shining in the sun are transformed at night by a unique lightning system which reflects the phases of the moon. The Mosque also includes a variety of post-modern architectural designs enriching its historical Islamic tastes.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is well recognized by its pure color. Every artistic design element was carefully considered and fits into the overall vision of the Mosque.There domes of various sizes and the largest is located in the center of the main prayer hall. The design elements include pure white marble cladding; onion shaped ‘crowns’ and crescent shaped finials decorated with gold-glass mosaic. The elongated windows allow the natural light to enter the prayer halls.
The traditional Moroccan artwork encircling the inside of the domes are verses from the Holy Quran. The main prayer hall houses the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. The crystal chandeliers situated inside the halls and foyers. The unique lightning system was designed to reflect the phases of the moon. Soft undulating clouds of a bluish gray color are projected onto the white marble external surfaces of the mosque including the façade and domes.
My visit to the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been now more than 5 times, and every time i visited its always the peaceful environment that tells me to come again and again. The beautiful mosque, the surroundings, the interiors and the architecture was a marvelous work done to make so beautiful. A worth and a must visit whenever you are visiting UAE.
Some facts about Sheikh Zayed Mosque:
- The complex covers an area of 22,412 m2
- 33,000 tons of steel and 250,000 m3 of concrete were used. They lay on 6,500 foundation piles
- The courtyard has a total of 1,048 columns
- A total of 82 domes belong to the mosque
- The main dome is the largest mosque dome in the world: 85 metres high with a diameter of 32.8 metres.
- Some 41,000 worshippers can be accommodated in the mosque, 7,126 in the main prayer hall.
- The Mosque Manners – No smoking, Mobile phones should be switched off, maintain silence inside the mosque, No food and no drinks allowed.
- You get Abayas before entering the mosque.
Sat – Thurs 9am to 10pm and you may walk through on your own. Last entry is 9.30pm.