Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

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Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the third largest mosque in the world – after the ones in Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia. Luxury, art, desing and religion are concentrated in this huge architectural work that surprises the whole world. 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 metres above sea level, and 9.5 metres above the street level so that it is clearly visible from all directions. It is built as a monument to consolidate Islamic culture and a prominent centre for Islamic sciences.
This architectural work of art has capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing twelve tonnes. The mosque’s first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site.
Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty. The striking white and gold colours shining in the sun are transformed at night by a unique lightning system which reflects the phases of the moon.
The construction of AED 2.5 billion-project began in the late 1996. Approximately 38 contracting companies and about 3,500 workers helped realising the complex over a period of almost 12 years.
On the 20th of December 2007, the mosque was initially opened to the public and prayers. The first prayer was held in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
Facts about the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque:
• The complex covers an area of 22,412 m2
• 33,000 tons of steel and 250,000 m3 of concrete were used. They lay on 6,500 foundation piles
• The courtyard has a total of 1,048 columns
• A total of 82 domes belong to the mosque
• The main dome is the largest mosque dome in the world: 85 metres high with a diameter of 32.8 metres.
• Some 41,000 worshippers can be accommodated in the mosque, 7,126 in the main prayer hall.
Opening hours:
Unlike other mosques the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning, which is for worshippers only. The opening hours are 9am to 10pm (last entry at 9.30 pm) – Saturday to Thursday and4.30pm to 10pm on Fridays. Complimentary one hour guided tours run (Sun-Thurs) at 10am, 11am and 5pm. Friday times are 5pm and 7pm and Saturday 10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm.
Ramadan opening hours:
During the Holy Month the mosque is open daily, except Friday, from 9am to 2pm, with last entry at 1.30pm.
To read more visit the official website

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