Address: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center | ABU DHABI | United Arab Emirates | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 24.41243, 54.47491
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is considered to be the key for worship in the country of United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was initiated by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, 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. The building complex measures approximately 290 m by 420 m, covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), exclusive of exterior landscaping and vehicle parking.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center offices are located in the west minarets. SZGMC manages the day-to-day operations, as a place of worship and Friday gathering, and also a center of learning and discovery through its educational cultural activities and visitor programs.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s design and construction “unites the world”, using artisans and materials from many countries including India, Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Macedonia and United Arab Emirates. More than 3,000 workers and 38 renowned contracting companies took part in the construction of the mosque. Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics. It was built by the Italian company Impregilo.
The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco being direct influences. The dome layout and floorplan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has many special and unique elements: 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. This carpet measures 5,627 m2, and was made by around 1,200-1,300 carpet knotters. The weight of this carpet is 35 ton and is predominantly made from wool. There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet and it took approximately two years to complete.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers from the company Faustig in Munich Germany that incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world and has a 10 m diameter and a 15 m height.
The pools along the arcades reflect the mosque’s spectacular columns, which becomes even more glorious at night. The unique lighting system was designed by lightning architects Speirs + Major to reflect the phases of the moon. Beautiful bluish gray clouds are projected in lights onto the external walls and get brighter and darker according to the phase of the moon.
The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl, one of the few places where you will see this craftsmanship.
⇒ Architecture Guide to ABU DHABI
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