Grand Zayed Mosque Experience

Trip Start Aug 14, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So our teaching crew had an opportunity to take a "field trip" and visit the Grand Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi the other day.  The mosque is the largest in the world (not including grounds) and was built in honour of his highness Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates and first president and ruler of the nation until his death in 2004.  To say his mosque is exceptional in both scope and design would be selling it short - words cannot hope to match the feeling you get when you enter the mosque grounds and witness the sheer impressiveness of everything you encounter.  There were numerous times when I was lost for words at what I was seeing.

In terms of background information, construction on the mosque began in 1996 and utilized 28 different international design agencies, each handling a different component of the build.  Artisans from around the world were used to design the visually stunning construction.  Construction on the grounds continues today.

To get an idea of the magnitude of the mosque it holds several world records:

1) The carpet laid out in the main prayer hall is the "World's Largest Carpet". Made by Iranian artisans and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi, the carpet measures 60,570 sq ft, and was made by around 1,200 weavers, 20 technicians, and 30 workers. The weight of this carpet is 47 tons – 35 tons of wool, and 12 tons of cotton. There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet.

  • 2) The mosque also holds the largest chandlier weighing in at over 9.5 tonnes. The chandelier has a 33 ft diameter and a 49 ft height, and contains several thousand Swavorski crystals.

    3) The main dome of the mosque is the largest in the world

    In addition to the records the mosque also features a 17 tonne sliding gold door, a 180,000 sq. ft courtyard capable of holding nearly 30,000 worshippers, and what I thought was cool - exterior lighting pillars developed in Germany that change color automatically with the phases of the moon.  Each displayed color represents a different phase of the moon and allows worshippers to recognize moon phases easily using the color codes.

    The trip to the mosque and the information given by my guide, Muhammed - who joked that everyone working there was either named Muhammed or Abdul, was definitely something that will stay with me!  Be sure to click the pictures for the details...
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    Allison on

    WOW, thanks for sharing!

    Joanne on

    So interesting. Great pics. A different dress code from RBES, eh??

    Chris on


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