23 Juli 2011

Sheikh Zayed Mosque – A sacred site with elegant beauty

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The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is known to be the eighth biggest mosque in the world, named after the first former president of the UAE, its founder the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Since the time of the 2007 Eid Al Adha festival, it has been open to the public for prayers, visitations and educational tours. Moorish and Mughal architectures influenced the architectural designs of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, predominantly the two renowned mosque interior designs observed around the world.

This mosque is a magnificent religious landmark and a national tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi. This great architectural structure brings great pride to the city and it is one of the most elegant attractions in the world. In the late 1980’s the initiative for the construction of the mosque was instigated. During the ten years that followed, considerable thought was given, to decide on the perfect location and the best architectural plan.
The models were finally contracted and the construction work commenced following the laying of the foundation stone, in the latter part of the 1990s. Its intricate details give more value to the entire establishment, with many of the materials and artisans being from other neighbouring countries like Morocco, Turkey, China, Iran, India, Germany, Italy, Greece and parts of the United Arab Emirates. Though the original layouts were of Moroccan style, the structure is intricately fine-tuned with material and designs that have originated from the other nations.

The exterior walls of the mosque are in conventional Turkish design. Its outer areas are neatly clad with more than twenty-thousand panels made of Italian marble. Built into the marble are semi-precious stones that decorate the large granite columns that border the exterior of the main hall. Elegant minarets, which stand at more than a hundred meters tall, add graceful splendour to the intricately engraved mother of pearls, whose glaze adds a subtle touch of class.

The main hall can hold nine-thousand followers at prayer time. In addition, there are two exclusive prayer halls for women with a capacity to hold up to one thousand five hundred worshippers. A beautifully paved courtyard spreads out in graceful floral marble designs.

The world’s largest carpet, created by an Iranian carpet company and artist can be found at the mosque. Hailing as the largest hand-knotted carpet, it was a result of the dedicated time and energy of one thousand two hundred weavers, twenty technicians and thirty workers.

The chandelier that is suspended from the main dome is renowned as the world’s largest chandelier; one of the eight chandeliers that were imported from Germany. Completed on gold plated copper and detailed with Swarovski crystals, it boasts a magnificent presence with a ten meter diameter.  It was later referred to as the second largest when a bigger chandelier was unveiled in Doha.

The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is one of the Abu Dhabi Hotels that provide exclusive accommodation for visitors and tourists to Abu Dhabi. As one of the Abu Dhabi Luxury Hotels, it is a source of unique service and luxury hospitality.