Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is indisputably one of the grandest and most magnificent mosques in existence. The biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates as well as being the eighth largest on the globe, the imposing place of worship is named after the United Arab Emirates’ late President. The majestic mosque has the capacity to house no less than 40,000 believers; 9,000 worshippers can occupy the principal prayer hall while two adjoining chambers are reserved exclusively for the use of women.
The eye-catching edifice with an area of 22,000 square metres is covered by the most precious white marble. The mosque incorporates no less than 57 domes and its four minarets rise a majestic 107 metres. Bianco marble from Italy was used to decorate the domes while Italian white marble was used to adorn the interior. The exquisite ornate floral motifs featuring precious gems beautify the pillars, walls and extensive courtyard of the building.
The acclaimed design of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has been identified as being influenced by earlier Islamic architectural traditions. It is considered to have been influenced by a combination of Moorish and Mughal architecture, with Lahore’s Badshahi Mosque and Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque identified as significant influences. In particular the floor plan and dome layout of the building are said to be reminiscent of the Badshahi Mosque. The compound’s minarets are considered to depict classical Arab tradition while the archways are said to portray Moorish influences.
At the time of construction the extravagant edifice laid claim to some world records. It contains the largest chandelier in the world, measuring no less than 15m high and 10m in diameter. Seven of the breathtaking gold-plated chandeliers that are to be seen with innumerable Swarovski crystals were imported from Germany.
The magnificent place of worship also features the world’s most extensive carpet, constructed by Iran’s Carpet Company. The enormous carpet weighs no less than 47 tons and was made by about 1,200 weavers.
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