Photo Essay: The Sheikh Zayed Mosque ~ UAE


The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, known locally as the ‘Grand Mosque‘ is the most imposing religious building and probably the most beautiful architectural landmark in Abu Dhabi in my opinion. It was the dream of the late president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, known to be the founder of the UAE who is also buried next to the mosque.

The construction of the Mosque began in the late 1990s with more than 3,000 workers and 38 contracting companies taking part until its completion in December 2007.

~~oOo~~

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque during sunset in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is seen as a construction to ‘unite the world’, using artisans and materials from countries such as Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and the UAE.

~~oOo~~

A shot of the arches and dome at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in ABu Dhabi, UAE

__________

With its 22,412 square meter surface (roughly the size of five football fields), the mosque can accommodate 40,960 worshipers, with about  22, 700 in the open Sahan (courtyard) alone.

~~oOo~~

A detail of the golden palm tree decorations in the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The Mosque has approximately 1,000 columns clad with more than 20,000 marble panels inlaid with semi-precious stones including lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone shell and nacre.

~~oOo~~

Natural materials were chosen for its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics.

~~oOo~~

Close-up of the dome in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The Grand Mosque features 82 domes of Moroccan design all decorated with white marble contrasting against the deep blue sky.

~~oOo~~

Details of the arches in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The Mosque’s initial architectural design was Moroccan, but it evolved to include many global features, including exterior walls that are of traditional Turkish design.

~~oOo~~

Arabic designs in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The Mosque has 80 highly decorated ceramic Iznik tiles. Traditionally hand-crafted, each tile was designed by Turkish calligrapher Othman Agha.

~~oOo~~

A beautiful chandelier in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The Mosque has seven gold-plated chandeliers imported from Germany located at the entrance and inside the main prayer hall.

~~oOo~~

The decoration of the Mosque has a very organic feel often representing flowers and plants carved in doors and walls.

~~oOo~~

The world's second largest chandelier in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The main prayer hall features the world’s second largest chandelier (the largest one being in Doha, Qatar) hanging directly below the largest dome. It is 10 meters in diameter, 15 meters in height and weighs 9 tons.

~~oOo~~

The World's second largest chandelier made with crystals in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The seven gold-plated chandeliers are fitted with thousands of Swarovski crystals from Austria and glasswork from Italy. They cost about US$8.2 million.

~~oOo~~

 

The name of Allah is engraved on the Qibla wall (facing the direction of the Holy City of Mecca) in traditional Arabic calligraphy and is plated with gold leaves.

~~oOo~~

The many names of Allah carved on a wall in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The 99 names of Allah are carved on the Qibla wall in traditional Kufi calligraphy. The wall is also fitted with subtle fiber-optic lighting integrated as part of the organic design.

~~oOo~~

The chandelier and the many names of Allah in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The Qibla wall is 23 meters high and 50 meters wide and is ‘subtly’ decorated so as not to distract worshipers from prayer. The niche in the middle of the Qibla wall, the Mehrab, is covered in gold-glass mosaic.

~~oOo~~

Decorations in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

28 different types of marble have been used throughout the Grand Mosque from Greece, Macedonia, Italy, India and China.

~~oOo~~

The interior of the prayer room in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The main prayer hall can fit more than 7,000 worshippers and boasts the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. Designed by Iranian artist, Ali Khaliqi, it was hand-crafted by 1,200 artisans in small villages in Iran. Consisting of 2,268,000 knots, the carpet is estimated to be valued at US$8.2 million .

~~oOo~~

Ablution room in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

In the ablution room, worshipers clean themselves in order to be in a state of purity before praying. It is decorated with marble tiles and a big fountain in the middle of the room.

~~oOo~~

Framed by the arch in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

__________

The main dome’s outer shell measures 33 meters in diameter and stands at a height of 85 meters. The main glass door is 12.2 meters high, 7 meters wide and weighs approximately 2.2 tons.

A panorama of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

~~oOo~~

UPDATE: If you’ve liked these photos, why not check another version I edited recently: The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Monochrome: Beauty in Black and White!

All information taken from the official website of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.