Abu Dhabi hosts the third largest mosque in the world – after the ones in Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia.
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.
According to his wish, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also the last resting place of its name giver, who passed away in 2004.
Inside views of Sheikh Zayed Mosque
For the interior design, calligraphers from the United Arab Emirates, Syria and Jordan supervised the work of artists from all over the world. Verses from the Holy Quran are written in three types of Arabic calligraphy.
Some interesting facts about Sheikh Zayed 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.