Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The traveller and tourist in me has always been fascinated and awed by the impressive structure that is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Everytime we venture out of Abu Dhabi and pass by the Grand Mosque, I always say to my self that I should visit soon - soon took me five years but as they say better late than never!

here are some quick facts and photos that I took on our short tour of the Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the third largest in the world according to the General Secretariat Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture in Turkey.

The seven chandeliers in the mosque cost about AED 30 million.

The courtyard has a total of 1048 columns, the Mosque has about 1,000 columns in its outer areas, clad with over 20,000 marble panels inlaid with semi-precious stones including abalone shell, amethyst, lapis lazuli, mother of pearl, red agate. The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are decorated with mother of pearl. The Iranian carpet placed in the main prayer hall is woven by about 1200 Iranian women, is 5000 sq m and is the largest hand-woven carpet in the world, made out of 35 tons of wool and cotton and costs about 30 million dirhams.

the total area is 22,412 square meters (about the same as 5 football fields). The courtyard area being about 17,000 sq m. while the area of reflective pools surrounding the courtyard is 7,874 sq m.

There are 82 domes of Moroccan design decorated with white marble. Main dome is the largest of its kind according to the Research Centre for Islamic History and Culture in Turkey and is 87 metres high with a diameter of 32.8 metres.

The mosque is open to all nationalities and religions with scheduled free guided tours, it would have been a better visit with a tour guide I suppose - in that way you could hear about the interesting facts and history about the mosque, the UAE and its culture and traditions. Photography is permitted so be sure to charge your cameras. There is a dress code and women are required to dress conservatively but sheila and abayas are provided for the ladies and kandura for men I think.

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque really is an impressive historical landmark in its architecture and design I am glad I have finally paid a visit!

*original photos by yours truly facts and trivia collected from

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