The majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque takes your breath away as soon as you rise over any of the brdges that connect the Abu Dhabi island with the mainland. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful architectural creations in the world and was initiated by the late President of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, remembered fondly as the father of this nation that we today call home.
The mosque combines artistic skills and materials from many countries including Italy, India, Germany, Morocco, Turkey, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and the United Arab Emirates. The mosque has a capacity of about 41,000 people and is at its busiest on Friday’s and especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan and the Eid festival.
Some outstanding features:
– The Mosque has 82 domes of Moroccan design and all decorated with white marble.
– The Mosque site is equivalent to around five football fields.
– The Mosque has just over one thousand columns covered with marble and adorned with semi-precious stones
– The 96 round columns in the main prayer hall are beautifully decorated with mother of pearl.
– Four beautiful minarets of about 107 metres each stand at the four corners of the mosque.
– The Mosque is surrounded by reflective pools, that create a great imagery and the central courtyard is decorated with marble mosaic work.
It is a must see for every visitor to the country and an art or photography enthusiasts can lose themselves taking in its wonderful features, both interiors and exterior. The main prayer hall features the world’s largest chandelier under the main dome, while the main prayer hall features the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet.
The Mosque grounds is also the final resting place of the late 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.
Note: Women visitors are required to cover their heads with a veil and wear an abaya, which is generously lent to visitors. Men are also required to dress with decorum while entering the mosque.