Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
25° 21' N 55° 23' E
Jan 31, 2009 13:25
Distance 5474km

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Text written in: English

Shiekh Zayed Mosque

One day in March I was given the day off to take my group of student to the Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.  This was a full day excursion and definitely a special day.  I have been made the section leader of one of groups of students I teach.  My group is Group Two of the Higher Diploma program in their sixth semester at HCT.  It was a special time for me to observe my female students in a non-teaching/learning environment.  This group of ladies is very kind and close/tight.  It was a joy to watch these ladies playing games and whatever on the 2 ½ hour bus trip to or from the mosque.  I am so fortunate to be their faculty leader, the group and I seem to have a special professional relationship.

Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the UAE and the sixth largest mosque in the world It is named after Sheikh Zayed, the founder and the first president of the UAE, who is also buried there. The mosque was officially opened in the month of Ramadan in 2007. Although it is illegal for non-Muslims to enter mosques in the United Arab Emirates, this mosque will be an exception. The Mosque is large enough to accommodate 40,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall can accommodate up to 9,000 worshippers. Two rooms next to the main prayer hall, with a 1,500-capacity each, are for the exclusive use of women.

There are four minarets on the four corners of the mosque which rise about 115 m  in height. There are 82 domes covering the outside yard and the main building as well. The domes are decorated with white marble as is the interior. The courtyard is paved with floral marble designs and measures about 17,000 m2.

 The Sheikh Zayed Mosque made some world records:
  • The carpet laid out on the vast expanse is the “World's Largest Carpet” made by Iran's Carpet Company. The carpet measures 5,627 m2 (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 knots within the carpet.
  • This mosque also holds the largest chandelier. There are seven imported chandeliers from Germany and are copper and gold-plated. The largest chandelier has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.
  • The mosque cost $550 million to build

We were given a tour by one of the guides.  At one point the guide showed the ladies the interior of one of the minarets.  I had suggested that I was keen to climb a minaret.  The guide noted that it was a long climb to the top and it might be dangerous.  He then left it to me to decide what to do.  I climbed half way to the top and then stopped as I thought it might be considered bad form to go to the top as it is a religious building.  Further it was extremely hot as I got higher up.  Did take some photos part way up.

 

As my photos show, this is quiet an extra-ordinary structure and the most grand of the mosques I have seen.  Been in five so far, one in Morocco (which is bigger than this one), one in Bahrain, one in Malaysia, one in Turkey and this one

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