The Grand Mosque of Sheikh Zayed

The Beautiful Creation

Anyone who has been to or seen the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was left mesmerized by its adorable and eye-catching design. This mosque is a work of art that pleases your senses and reminds you of the wonders that can be created by the human mind. But there is a lot more to the mosque than what meets the eye. We’re going to share with you some of the most interesting facts about the Sheikh Zayed mosque.

The Reason Behind the Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was constructed between the years of 1996 and 2007. It is known to be the largest Mosque in the United Arab Emirates, measuring nine hundred and sixty ft x thousand three hundred and sixty ft. and covering approximately thirty acres of space.  The late president of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan wanted his soul to rest in a beautiful spiritual place, thus he personally launched and supervised this majestic project. You can glimpse the mosque’s beautiful architecture from quite a distance. When you visit the mosque, you can find Sheikh Zayed’s grave in the courtyard, you can also find the library which has rarely published books. 

The Library

The mosque became a center of learning and discovery through its educational cultural activities. The library serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, and coins, including some rare publications. The collection serves material in a broad range of languages, including Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Korean.

The Architectural Art Merger

Moving to the most important aspect of Abu Dhabi, numbers. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a masterpiece of modern Islamic architecture that has eighty-two domes adorned with intricate Moroccan art, with the largest one being eighty-five meters high and almost thirty-three meters in diameter.   The beautiful design of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque minarets combines Mamluk, Ottoman, and Fatimid architectural styles. The mosque has four minarets, each one is hundred and six meters tall. Each of the minarets consists of four different geometric shapes referring to an Islamic era merging them to perfection. The square shape that forms the minaret's base is influenced by the Moroccan, Andalusian, and Mameluke styles. The octagonal shape is a Mameluke design. The cylindrical shape is inspired by the Ottoman era. The final crowning lantern is covered with a gold-glass mosaic that dates back to the Fatimid era. The mosque features seven crystal chandeliers, designed to complement the mosque’s interiors in Germany. The chandeliers are distributed beautifully all over the mosque. The largest of the chandeliers is ten meters across, fifteen meters tall, and twelve tons in weight. 

Symbol of Peace and Purity

Part of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s everlasting beauty can be attributed to the white marble. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan chose white marble for the construction of the mosque as a representation of peace and purity. Built with one hundred thousand tons of white marble imported from Macedonia, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi stands today as the epitome of purity. The white marble is an inherent characteristic that gives the mosque personality and sublime grandeur.

The Moon Light

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque lighting system is just as unique as the mosque itself. It is designed to illuminate the mosque’s magnificent structure emulating the different phases of the moon. And just like the moon takes a different shape, emanating a different light each night, the lighting cycle of Sheikh Zayed Mosque basks its facade with darker hues of the early moon and brighter shades when the moon is full.


Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque was designed by the Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky. It was inspired by Persian and Mughal architectural styles. The building is also influenced by the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque in Alexandria, Egypt. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan built this mosque to convey historic consequences and to embody the Islamic message of peace, tolerance, and diversity. He intended that the Grand Mosque should be a living reference of modern Islamic architecture that links the past with the present and creates a place of Islamic science and learning that would reflect genuine Islamic values.

The Global Participation

While the mosque showcased eras from the Arabian world in appearance and design, the creation of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was a collaboration between construction companies from around the world. Italian engineers Salini Impregilo led three thousand workers from thirty-eight contracting companies, while artisans from India, Germany, Egypt, Turkey, United Kingdom, China, and Pakistan all lent their skills. The main prayer hall’s carpet, the world’s largest, was hand-knotted by one thousand three hundred Iranian craftsmen using New Zealand wool. It covers an area of five thousand seven hundred square meters and took two years to be completed, trimmed, and transported to the mosque. It’s so heavy that it had to be dismantled, flown in on two airplanes, then re-stitched on arrival.

The Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Not only is it one of the most architecturally magnificent buildings in the world, but it is also an active house of worship accommodating up to forty thousand worshippers at the same time, while the main prayer hall can hold over seven thousand. There are two smaller prayer halls, with a capacity of one thousand five hundred each, one of which is the women's prayer hall making the sheikh Zayed mosque the third-largest in the world. Impressive as it is, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was constructed with a total cost of five hundred and forty-five million dollars.

Visiting the Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Mosque is free to enter and explore. You don’t need tickets to visit the mosque. Additionally, it is available for everybody to enjoy this beautiful landmark establishment indulging a variety of historical architectural influences blended in harmony to symbolize peace, tolerance, and diversity. To show respect and appreciation to the mosque modest attire is required, showing no skin, and putting a headscarf on for women. While men should cover up to their knees and cover up their shirt sleeves.


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