While in Abu Dhabi this summer I was able to visit the infamous mosque, The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the first mosque I have ever been to. It was everything I imagined times 1,000. It was impressive from afar and even more impressive up close with all the immaculate detail. $545 million contributed from all around the world.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the U.A.E. and the 3rd largest mosque in the world behind #1 and #2 in Saudi Arabia. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the vision of the former President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who died in November 2004. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who is also buried at the site so you are not allowed to take certain photos that may have his tomb in the shot.
- The Mosque is large enough to accommodate 40,000 worshippers.
- The main prayer hall can accommodate up to 9,000 worshippers.
- Two rooms next to the main prayer hall, with a 1,500-capacity each, are for the exclusive use of women.
- There are four minarets on the four corners of the mosque which rise about 115 m (377 ft) in height.
- There are 57 domes covering the outside yard and the main building as well. The domes are decorated with white marble and the interior decoration is made of marble.
- The courtyard is paved with floral marble designs and measures about 17,000 m2 (180,000 sq ft).
- Built with the help of 38 renowned contracting companies. More than 3,000 workers took part in the construction work.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque made some world records:
- The carpet laid out on the vast expanse is the “World’s Largest Carpet” made by Iran’s Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This carpet measures 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and was made by around 1,200 weavers, 20 technicians, and 30 workers. The weight of this carpet is 47 tons – 35 tons of wool, and 12 tons of cotton. There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet.
- This mosque also holds the largest chandelier. There are seven imported chandeliers from Germany and are copper and gold-plated. The largest chandelier has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.