Thursday, 26 April 2012

Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was initiated by the late president HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was regarded as the father of the UAE. The construction used artisans and natural materials such as marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics from countries such as Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and the UAE. The 22,412 square metre Mosque site is equivalent to around the size of five football fields, and can accommodate 40,960 worshipper. More info on Visit Abu Dhabi and Wikipedia. Walk-in tours are available every day and its complimentary. Guest are reminded to be properly dressed as a sign of respect. However, abayas and head cover are readily available for loan. The Mosque guards will guide you on what ti wear and where to walk onsite.

Tip: If you take a taxi to the mosque, please ask the taxi driver to wait as it is difficult to find a taxi for the return trip.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque features 82 domes of Moroccan design and all decorated with white marble.

Italian white marble and inlaid floral designs adorn the prayer halls- this is on the wall

On the floor - Italian white marble with inlaid floral designs
The main prayer hall features the world’s largest chandelier under the main dome – being 10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing over nine tonnes. The Mosque’s seven gold-coloured chandeliers, from Germany, feature thousands of Swarovski crystals from Austria and some glasswork from Italy, and cost about US$8.2 million (AED 30 million).

The 99 names (qualities) of Allah featured on the Qibla wall exemplify traditional Kufi calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher - Mohammed Mandi. 
The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting, which is integrated as part of the organic design.

The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are round in shape and inlaid with mother of pearl.

I am standing on the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. Designed by Iranian artist, Ali Khaliqi, the carpet was hand-crafted by 1,200 artisans in small villages near Mashhadin in Iran, a region renowned for its carpet making expertise. The artisans were flown to Abu Dhabi to stitch the carpet pieces together for the final fitting. Consisting of 2,268,000 knots, the Mosque’s carpet is estimated to be valued at US$8.2 million (AED 30 million).

The Mosque has approximately 1,000 columns in its outer areas which are clad with more than 20,000 marble panels inlaid with semi-precious stones, including lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone shell and mother of pearl. 

Inside of one of the minaret

Water cooler

Side view of the mosque and this is where the visitors exit

View from the highway: 4 beautiful minarets standing at almost 107 metres each at the four corners of the mosque.


Kerabu Jantung said...

such beautiful mosque - and very decorative!

Muhammad Amjad said...

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Desert Safari