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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi by discoveringarni

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· @discoveringarni · (edited)
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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi
https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/w85wOZzD-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-10.JPG

<div class="text-justify">

Have you ever gone inside an entrancing architecture that would lift you off your feet because of its tranquil splendor and magnificent beauty? </div>

This jaw-dropping architectural wonder will do exactly that. Your trip to the United Arab Emirates is not complete without visiting one of the largest mosques in the world, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, located between Mussafah and Maqta Bridge in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/SRaf4QRU-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-4.JPG




The Grand Mosque is named after the founder and first president of the UAE, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This impressive place of worship is the national landmark of Abu Dhabi. It has been featured here many times but it clearly shows that this popular architectural icon is a must-see. 

---
#### Planning and Design Concept

The planning and design concept of the mosque started in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

- Architect:  Yousef Abdelky and Halcrow Group Consulting Engineers
- Project Consultants:  Hill International
- Interior Designer: Spatium Architects, Milan
- Lighting Designer:  Speirs and Major Associates, Edinburgh


Yousef Abdelky, a Syrian architect originally designed the mosque. Halcrow Group (Consulting Engineers) and Hill International (Project Consultants) completed the project after taking over in 2001.  The total construction cost is equivalent to AED 2 Billion (US$ 545 Million). 

###### It took more than 11 years to construct this gigantic mosque, which started in November 1996. 
 
https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/p87kXfh5-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-12.JPG

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/3HHXu2bo-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque20Design20Elements.jpg

The design concept is influenced by Moorish and Arab mosques of Mughal Architecture.
The design style is a fusion of Moorish, Mughal, and Islamic Architecture. 


The main dome is the largest in the world measuring 87 meters (285 feet) in height and 32.8 meters (107.6 feet) in diameter. It is made of fiber-reinforced gypsum installed by Moroccan artists.

It was built 9 meters above the street level and 11 meters above sea level.

It has 4 minarets of 107 meters height in Mameluke, Ottoman, and Fatimid styles.

There are 82 Moroccon style domes with onion-shaped crowns in white marble cladding, and crescent-shaped finials in gold-glass mosaic. 

The gigantic courtyard has 1,096 columns. These marble columns are serenely reflected by the ponds that surround the arcaded courtyard. Additionally, there are 96 columns indoors. 


  
https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/nGUTFoJm-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque20Design20Elements202.jpg


There is a library at the north minaret.  The mosque can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers, 7,000 of which inside the main prayer hall.  I was privileged to have met some colleagues that were involved in this long-term project from the manufacturers' side.  

The total area is equivalent to 22,412 square meters which are said to be approximately the size of 5 football fields. The construction was finally completed in 2007.

---
#### Design Development and Material Sourcing

It's a perfect example of excellent craftsmanship using materials sourced from different parts of the world. Ceramics,  gold, marble, stone, crystals, semi-precious stones, mother of pearl, and hand-woven carpet.

##### Outdoor Lighting

A unique lighting system was designed by lighting consultant Jonathan Speirs and Major, reflecting the different phases of the moon. The moon was their source of inspiration since the Islamic religious calendar is based on the lunar cycle.

![Sheikh Zayed Mosque11.JPG](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/2YmeLYIi-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-11.JPG)


> " In the same way that the moon influences the tides, we wanted the moon had an impact on the building. The idea was to have a building that, at full moon, will light sparkling white light, but with a textural quality evocative of clouds slowly drifting in front of a full white moon… β€œ- [Jonathan Speirs, award-winning Lighting Architect and Lighting Designer of the Grand Mosque](http://www.speirsandmajor.com/work/architecture/sheikh_zayed_mosque/)

The appearance of the building changes its appearance as it is bathed in cool white light during the full moon gradually shifting color and it gets bluer as the moon dulls. 

##### General Interior Lighting
For its functional Lighting, hundreds of *Lightcast* directional luminaires, *Stella* spotlights, and *Stella* washers were hidden inside wall recesses and concealed in grooves along the edges of the ceiling.

##### 4-5 Stories Tall Bespoke Chandeliers

What's special here as well are the giant chandeliers. Inside the main prayer hall, you will find the second world's largest chandelier. 

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/cZctcvTd-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-2.JPG


The central chandelier measures 10 meters in diameter by 15 meters in height weighing 9 tons.  Two of them measures 7 meters in diameter by 12 meters in height. There are four more that are smaller in size.

It is a suspended building on its own, the size similar to a 5-story building. Can you imagine, it is equipped with a cleaning and maintenance chamber?  The bottom of the chandelier has a concealed access, an internal staircase, and built-in scaffolding platforms?  

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/l61FCdKY-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque.JPG


The chandeliers are illuminated by LED which would last 20 years, thus not needing much maintenance. Cleaning is required however every six months and the hidden chandelier chamber solves this problem.  

The structural frame is made of stainless steel covered with a 24-carat gold plated brass. Specially fabricated crystal panels encrusted with millions of Swarovski crystals in different colors and patterns are used.  

There are 7 of these chandeliers in various sizes which were manufactured by Faustig, a chandelier manufacturer in Germany. These chandeliers were said to have cost AED 30 Million (US$ 8.17 Million).

![Chandelier Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.jpg](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/AmA42Cmz-Chandelier20Sheikh20Zayed20Grand20Mosque.jpg)


##### Largest Carpet in the World

The carpet in the prayer hall is said to be the world's largest hand-knotted carpet in the world designed by Iranian artist, Ali Khaliqi. It was produced by 1,200 artisans in small villages in Iran. The carpet is made of wool and cotton imported from New Zealand and Iran with a total area of more than 5,000 sq. meters. It took approximately 2 years to finish its fabrication.


##### Qibla  Wall

There is a large back-lit Qibla wall, a prayer wall that faces Mecca. It is 23 meters in height and 50 meters in width with 99 names of God (Allah) written in traditional calligraphy as marble inlays illuminated by efficient fiber optics systems.  

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/hfrqCl9q-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque20Qibla20Wall20and20Marble20Inlay.jpg (From Left to Right) Qibla Wall and marble inlay in the floral pattern 

##### Marble

28 different types of marble were used, sourced from:
-  SIVEC from Greece and Macedonia for the external cladding, 
-  Lasa, Aquabiana, and Biano from Italy, 
-  Makrana from India, and 
-  East White and Ming Green China 


Columns were built with marble, inlaid with semi-precious stones and mother of pearl. 

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/QcR7NaRp-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-8.JPG

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/IWcFPohZ-Floral20Pattern20at20Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque.jpg
Special glass artwork using modern technology and marble in-lays

###### Despite the number of curious tourists visiting the mosque, there was an ethereal quality to the experience of being there. 

---
#### Visiting the Mosque

There is no entrance fee. It is open to all except during Friday gatherings, Eid Prayers, and Ramadan. Opening hours to visit would be between 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM (last entry at 9:30 PM) from Saturdays to Thursdays. It is open from 4:30 PM to 10:00 PM on Fridays.

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/qmnp8t3D-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-13.JPG


##### Proper Conduct and Dress Code:

Visiting the mosque is a solemn experience. The visitors are expected to observe proper conduct and dress code.  The women must wear long trousers or skirts with long-sleeved shirts. No tight-fitting clothes. The hair for women should be covered so headscarves are important but not to worry, there is an area dedicated to women where you can borrow a black cloak called "abaya" and veil.  


https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/kZkVuD5O-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque20Discovering20Arni.jpg

###### Tip: Don't forget to wear your sunglasses during the day. It gets pretty bright.

Definitely no shorts for men. The dress code is either a white dish-dash, a long white robe traditionally worn by Emirati men that you can borrow if you feel like wearing one or long trousers with decent shirts.

Footwear is left outside the entrance hall.  Wear something comfortable and easy to remove so be prepared to walk either barefoot or with your socks on.

No smoking, eating, and drinking within the premises. Everyone is asked to leave during prayer times that usually start at 2 PM.



---
#### My Takeaway

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/VY7n8gOP-Sheikh20Zayed20Mosque-6.JPG

*Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque* is currently the third-largest mosque in the world. I have visited it countless times to play tour guide to friends and family who came to see us. From Dubai, 1 1/2 to  2 hours depending on how fast you drive to reach Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.  


Putting on the traditional black cloak - abaya was an experience in itself as well, our own way of respecting the country's religion and culture. Photography is allowed within and outside the mosque except in a few restricted areas. It's also stunning to see at night with its carefully planned and beautifully designed lighting. 

https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/discoveringarni/HTibf2YI-Sheikh20Zayed20Grand20Mosque20Marble2.jpg


For a day trip visit to Abu Dhabi, I took guests there out of habit first in the morning since it's on the way from Dubai before reaching Abu Dhabi. This is followed by a quick lunch and stroll by the waterfront at **Souk Qaryat Al Beri** across **Khor Al Maqta** before heading to the center of Abu Dhabi.  It allows us to see it with its lights on the way back to Dubai at night.  

Otherwise, a sunset tour is also highly recommended. 

All of the design elements used in the architecture and interior of this majestic place of worship harmoniously evokes a sense of calm and contemplation.

Have you visited this spectacular mosque? How was your experience? 
 
---
References:
Inspired by my [original post](https://travelgourmande.blogspot.com/2016/02/sheikh-zayed-grand-mosque.html)
[Sheikh Zayed Mosque Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh_Zayed_Mosque)
[Dubaifaqs.com - Sheikh Zayed Mosque](http://www.dubaifaqs.com/sheikh-zayed-mosque.php)
[Speirs and Major Lighting Design of Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi](http://www.speirsandmajor.com/work/architecture/sheikh_zayed_mosque/)
[Faustig Creates Record Chandelier](http://www.gulfconstructionworldwide.com/news/8735_Faustig-creates-record-chandelier.html)

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@arrliinn ·
There is something about the Shk Zayed Grand Mosque that never ceases to amaze me. Just driving past it, or in go inside it, definitely always jawdropping.
πŸ‘  
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@discoveringarni ·
Hi Arrliinn, reading your comment transported me back in time on the road, following the signs to get there inside the big interchange. It is a feel-good place. Thank you πŸ™‚
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@chocolatescorpi ·
Wow. That is just such an extraordinary stunning design with so much intricate beauty opulence within such open and orderly clean lines.

Wow, I can't wait to visit it one day.

Thank you so much for sharing this- another destination to add to my bucket list of world travels. πŸ˜ƒ
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@discoveringarni ·
Hello @chocolatescorpi, thank you so much for your lovely message. There are many beautiful buildings designed today, but to have a timeless structure built during our era that took 11 years to construct feels great, knowing that it will be seen and appreciated by future generations as well. 
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@chocolatescorpi ·
Wow 11yrs to construct and it look like it will be here for atleast 11 centuries to come.

I can't wait to visit it one day and bask in the splendor..

Thanks you so much for sharing this with us! πŸ˜€
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@diyhub ·
<div class="pull-right"><a href="https://steempeak.com/trending/hive-189641"><img src="https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmV9e1dikviiK47vokoSCH3WjuGWrd6PScpsgEL8JBEZp5/icon_comments.png"></a></div>

###### Thank you for sharing this amazing post on HIVE!

- Your content got selected by our fellow curator @priyanarc & you just received a little thank you via an upvote from our **non-profit** curation initiative!

- You will be **featured in** one of our recurring **curation compilations** and on our **pinterest** boards! Both are aiming to offer you a **stage to widen your audience** within and outside of the DIY scene of hive.

**Join** the official [DIYHub community on HIVE](https://peakd.com/trending/hive-189641) and show us more of your amazing work and feel free to connect with us and other DIYers via our discord server: https://discord.io/diyhub!

If you want to support our goal to motivate other DIY/art/music/homesteading/... creators just delegate to us and earn 100% of your curation rewards!

###### Stay creative & hive on!
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@discoveringarni ·
Thank you so much @priyanarc and DIYHub Community for your support. πŸ˜€
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@kneelyrac ·
I have friends who have visited the grand mosque but I never saw them posting the interior. This is my first time seeing the inside of this mosque. Without a doubt, it's really majestic and stunning. Hats off to the brilliant minds and the skilled manpower in designing and creating this majestic mosque. 
πŸ‘  
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@discoveringarni ·
I am glad I was able to share the interior photos with you. It is allowed to take pictures inside except for the tomb. Thank you for your lovely message 😊
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@leaky20 ·
Thats beautiful. The pictures are really stunning. Thats really interesting about the chandeliers as well. It makes sense that it would need access for cleaning. Thats the sort of stuff that you don't typically think about when you're touring around a place like that. Neat.
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@discoveringarni ·
Thank you, it makes me happy to read your comment. 😊 The project's main goal is to carefully choose materials that would be strong enough to withstand the damages time brings. I am fascinated by its timeless appeal and that a structure of this scale and complexity is achieved during our era.  
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@livinguktaiwan ·
I was here back in February when I was transiting back to UK.  It was the only place I visited during my 36 hours stop over and totally worth it.  Such a fascinating building
πŸ‘  
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@discoveringarni · (edited)
Great decision, it was definitely a worthwhile and well-spent stopover visit. 😊

Thank you so much and Pinmapple Team for the feature and for your support.   
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@pinmapple ·
Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Honorable Mentions in [Daily Travel Digest #999](https://peakd.com/hive-163772/@pinmapple/travel-digest-999).<br><br>Your post has been manually curated by the @pinmapple team. If you like what we're doing, please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider supporting other authors like yourself and us so we can keep the project going!<br><br><b>Become part of our travel community:</b><ul><li><a href='https://discord.gg/EGtBvSM'>Join our Discord</a></li><li><a href='https://haveyoubeenhere.com'>Learn more about our travel application</a></li></ul>
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@poshbot ·
https://twitter.com/DiscoveringArni/status/1315475664183521280
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@ssygmr ·
Wow! looks quite majestic!
πŸ‘  
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@discoveringarni ·
Thanks Serpil for your comment. 😊 
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@storiesoferne ·
Without a doubt, this unique mosque in Abu Dhabi is definitely one of the finest examples of modern Islamic architecture. Here’s a simple photo I took of its magnificent ceiling during my visit there some time ago. Awesome article!


![img_5632.jpg](https://images.ecency.com/DQmUJWKW5Bc4Kk4JkXnJqqB6XoEdZVqjjHmCaJAaJdcbkHP/img_5632.jpg)
πŸ‘  
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@discoveringarni ·
Thank you 😊 It's amazing the amount of detail and works this mosque took to build. Just looking at them and imagining how the details of the dome design were drawn on CAD is already making my head spin hehe.😜
πŸ‘  
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@storiesoferne ·
Yes indeed the architectural and interior details are mind-boggling! hehe. 😊
πŸ‘  
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@ybanezkim26 ·
Epic! I've always been fascinated by Islamic architecture and design because of their heavy reliance to geometric patterns. Symmetry, intricacy of design, elegance, they really won't settle for less.
πŸ‘  
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@discoveringarni ·
$0.05
Thank you so much Kim. πŸ™‚ Normally when we visit a place, after the first visit, the novelty wears off, but there's something about it that always leaves me in awe. They managed to balance everything in perfect harmony. Even just driving past the building from a distance, its presence commands attention at every angle. 
πŸ‘  , , , , , , , , , ,
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@misterengagement ·
<center>  Thank you for your engagement on this post, you have recieved <code>ENGAGE</code> tokens.</center>
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@ybanezkim26 ·
!ENGAGE 20
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