I feel blessed. Really Blessed.
Our flight time changed.
Rather then flying at stupid ‘o’ clock in the evening we were now flying that same day early in the morning. Meaning we had one extra day in Ras al khaimah- which we had not accounted for. We contacted out hotel and advised them.
They had no room availability for us.
In the end we decided that we would book ourselves in at Abu-Dhabi (this is where we landed). Pray our Jumma (Friday prayers) at the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque and then make our way to Ras al khaimah.
Now do you understand why I feel blessed?
It’s as though we had been called to visit this beautiful place.
The Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The Grand sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest mosque in the UAE, situated in Abu Dhabi. And it is by far the most beautiful mosque I have seen ever.
And it is this beauty that draws in tourist regardless of faith from all over the world. The only thing to acknowledge is the covering of the hair and body and respecting the place as you do in any religious place of worship
You guys know I love my history lessons. Shall we start?
Holding a grand total of 41000 worshipers, it took 12 years to complete this beautiful mosque, and it first opened its doors in 2008.
Originally named Masjid Al-Nayan, the name chosen by Sheikh Zayed himself.
After his passing his name was transferred. His wish was for it to be his final resting place, and his body now resides in the mosque’s courtyard.
Sheikh Zayed vison for the mosque was built around the virtues ‘compassion, peace and tolerance’ and he showed this by different artistic elements inside the mosque.
The gigantic Mosque has been designed by the Egyptian architect Dr Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil and is truly an architectural wonder.
A total of £545million was spend on this huge architecture and it is famous for its constructive work of art that intentionally combines the different Islamic art schools ( Mamluk, Ottoman, and Fatimid) . It holds 82 domes, a thousand columns, 24-carat-gold chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet.
Materials came in from Greece, Germany, China, Italy, India, New Zealand, South Korea, Austria, and other nations.
Exterior of Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The mosque is a strikingly, blinding vision of the purest white you will have ever encountered in your life. Keep the sunglasses on at all time. This mosque is not something you want to see through slit eyes.
The reflecting nature of the blue pool water brings warmth in to the mosque and makes the appearance more grandiose.
White is the main colour, being a symbol of purity and piety.
Interior of Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The interior of the mosque has the same white marble walls with the added colourful calligraphy and Arabic Art. The mosque is a place of luxury and beauty. You will find middle eastern arched gold doorways and geometric shapes with contemporary, avant-garde design.
Chandeliers dropping at all points make a focal point. Under one of the main dome’s hangs the world’s largest chandelier which is 15 metres in height. It weighs around 12 tonnes, and has a 24 carat gold-plated structure which hold one million Swarovski crystals from Austria. It is a sight to behold.
Designing of the Mosque
The foundations of the mosque were laid by Local and German contractors, Greek and Italian contractors were used for the white marbles. The interior design was assigned to calligraphers from Jordan, Syria, UK and UAE.
Here’s a Fun Fact for you…
The Sheikh chose Kevin Dean, a British artist for the floral mosaics.
Kevin Dean has worked for clients like Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Kevin was handed a piece of paper with various flowers inside a square box by the Sheikh. This was the inspiration point of the floral designing on the floor and walls of the mosque.
This design was also incorporated into the pillars.
“For the main courtyard I used flowers that can be found in the Middle Eastern region – mostly irises, tulips, lilies and roses, In the main prayer hall, the species come from the Middle East; at the north entrance, they come from the northern hemisphere; and at the south entrance, they come from the south. The idea was to represent the fact that Islam is an international faith.”Kevin Dean. British Artist
“I still get a lot of emails from people who’ve come here and then want to ask me questions about it. They often say that they were amazed to hear that an Englishman was responsible for the design. I think it was very generous of the people involved to have allowed an Englishman to design something that is so important to Abu Dhabi [and] I am very humbled by that, really.”Kevin Dean. British artist
The intracity and the detailing is second to none.
You could spend hours just looking at how fine it is and still be in awe.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is in Abu Dhabi, do make sure it is in your itinerary for your next visit.
Have you been to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque?
Love and regards