Robin's Website

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

No visit to Abu Dhabi would be complete without a trip to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It was the vision of the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern traditions of art and architecture.
The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007 and is one the world’s largest mosques. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's design and construction involved craftsmen and materials from many countries across the world. Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics. The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture.
The mosque can hold over 40,000 worshipers. There are four minarets on the four corners of the courtyard which rise about 107 m (351 ft) in height, 82 domes and over 1,000 columns. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers (10 m wide, 15 m high and weighing twelve tonnes). The courtyard, with its floral design is considered to be the largest example of marble mosaic in the world. The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest handmade carpet and was made by around 1,200-1,300 carpet knotters over about two years. Stunning reflective pools surround the mosque and are certainly eye-catching as you walk towards the entrance. The mosque's first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site.
There is ample free parking outside for vehicles, entry is free and there are ample racks to also park your shoes in when you go inside to walk on the big posh carpet. Don't expect a nice big fancy souvenir shop to buy all the usual tcky stuff in, as there isn't one. Nice to see somewhere not spoilt by commercialism for once.