Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with Zeb the Duck

We are approaching a huge white building.

Front of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Photo from Wikipedia.

Front of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Photo from Wikipedia.

The main entrance to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is very impressive.   This photo came from Wikipedia.   This, the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, is also the eighth largest in the world.   Let’s go inside.

Let's go in

Let’s go in

This massive courtyard covers 17,400 square meters.   We love this view with the minarets.

Courtyard

Courtyard

Security is tight here.   There are several security men to prevent tourists from walking in the courtyard.   The floor has colored marble and floral decorations that are twisted and coiled in stunning patterns.

Courtyard

Courtyard

Around the courtyard, we admired the more than one thousand columns.

Columns

Columns

Each column was inspired by the palm tree, and decorated with marble and inlaid with floral designs and semi precious stones from around the world.   Construction for this mosque began in 1996 and was completed in 2007.   Before entering the main prayer hall, shoes must be removed and we passed through this smaller room.   The clock here shows the prayer times for the day.

Prayer times for today

Prayer times for today

We admired one of the seven chandeliers in the mosque.

Chandelier hanging from dome

Chandelier hanging from dome

The seven chandeliers inside the mosque hang from some of the Grand Mosque’s largest domes.   There are 82 domes, the largest with a diameter of 326 meters.   Entering the main prayer hall, the chandeliers catch your attention.

Huge chandelier

Huge chandelier

Here is the largest chandelier in the world, weighing about 12 tonnes.   Made of gilded brass, stainless steel and glass panels, the glass panels are studded with Swarovski crystals.   It is beautiful.   Next we see the Mihrab, the place in a mosque where the Imam leads worshippers in prayer.   This always faces the direction of Mecca.

For Imam

For Imam

This one is gold color and covered with gold glass mosaics.   The Minbar, or pulpit, seen here, is the place the Imam stands to address the worshippers during Friday prayers.   On the wall, in traditional Kufic calligraphy, are the 99 attributes of Allah.   Covering the floor of the main prayer hall we admired the world’s largest hand knotted carpet.

Largest hand knotted carpet

Largest hand knotted carpet

This carpet was  2 year project.   Designed by a third generation carpet maker, Dr. Ali Khaliqi, the hand crafted carpet required 1,200 artisans to complete.    In the main prayer hall there are 96 columns clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl.  Leaving the main prayer hall, we put our shoes on and wandered the halls around the courtyard.    We loved the detail on the columns throughout the mosque.

Great details

Great details

You may have missed seeing me, Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear in these photos.   We were there, but we stayed in our traveling bags.   In many holy places, we are not allowed to sit on things.   But, as you can see, mom did let me sit here, outside the mosque for one photo.

I, Zeb the Duck, was here. So was Chanel the Bear.

I, Zeb the Duck, was here.  So was Chanel the Bear.

And one last photo of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Beautiful

Beautiful

This is one of a few mosques where non Muslims are allowed inside.   We thoroughly enjoyed seeing this beautiful building.

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