The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan Mosque (more often called Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque) is the largest mosque in the UAE and the third largest mosque in the world is impressive not only for its size but for its architecture. With marble walls, intricate stonework and crystal chandeliers, this mosque truly is a jaw-dropping beauty.”
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. It is named after the founder and first President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He chose the location and took substantial influence on the architecture and the design of the mosque. Based on his vision, the mosque was built with the rise of 11 meters above sea level, and 9.5 meters above the street level so that it is clearly visible from all directions.
Design & Architecture
The mosque was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky combining Mamluk, Ottoman and Fatimid styles, the design of the minarets fuse the wide and diverse Islamic world into one summation of art and beauty.
The walls of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque were built entirely of marble from Macedonia. The color white is one of the most astonishing characteristics of the mosque; chosen by the late Sheikh Zayed as an illustration of purity. The marble walls are complemented with colorful stones in the shape of flowers all over the mosque. From the columns to the walls of the entrance, to the main prayer hall, visitors can marvel at the intricate detail of the flowers, giving a pop of color to the beautiful white walls.
Domes & Outdoor Details
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has an overall 82 domes of various sizes and the largest is located in the centre of the main prayer hall. These are made of pure white marble like the rest of the mosque and carry details in gold-glass on top of them. The elongated windows allow the natural light to enter the prayer halls.
The mosque is surrounded by rectangular pools tiled in different shades of blue, which extend over 7874 m2. They reflect the mosque’s magnificent arcades and columns and become even more spectacular by the lighting at night which was designed to reflect the phases of the moon, accompanied by bluish gray clouds projected on the exterior walls in shades brighter or darker as the corresponding phase.
The main message behind the mosque is as beautiful as its construction: peace, love and tolerance. Overall, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque truly is an architectural work of art and undoubtedly if you find yourself in the United Arab Emirates then a visit to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque is a must.