The biggest mosque in the Middle East, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, is as impressive on the outside as it is inside. Anyone who goes to Abu Dhabi will see or hear about this mosque because it is simply stunning to say the least. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is so inspiring that over half a million faithful Muslim worshipers make a journey to Abu Dhabi to pray during the Annual Eid celebrations.
Almost anyone who visits the mosque (even non-Muslims) mention that it is perhaps a major achievement of Islamic architecture and a modern wonder of the planet.
This magnificent landmark was the vision of the first ruler of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. This is the largest mosque in the UAE with four 350 feet minarets, 1,000 columns, 82 pristine white marble domes and 24-carat gold speckled chandeliers.
One gets to appreciate the dramatic beauty of the tall minarets when they are lit up against the warm Abu Dhabi skyline.
When arriving at the mosque, one is immediately captivated by the immense 183,000 square foot marble courtyard with intricate inlaid flowers. The courtyard was constructed with 30 different types of marble mosaic, some of which was imported from Italy and China. Every pillar and fountain in the courtyard has been individually designed with complex designs.
Inside the main prayer room which can hold 7, 000 worshipers are 96 columns which are inlaid with mother of pearl. Also in the prayer room is a chandelier measuring 32 x 49 feet and decorated with sparkling Italian glass and glistening Swarovski crystals. And more impressive is the world’s largest hand made carpet made in Iran.
Attention has been paid to every detail with top architects from all over the globe who have made this mosque so spectacular. To enhance the beauty, reflective pools surround the mosque. During the day the bright gold and white colors that gleam from the rays of the sun are transformed into an exotic lighting system that reflect phases of the moon. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque took over a decade to build and required hard labor from more than 40,000 workers. It was finally completed in 2007. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan was buried here in 2004.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open to visitors daily except on Friday when it is in use by the worshipers.