Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The mosque was initiated by the late president of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, the historical and modern values of architecture and art. His final resting place is located on the grounds besides the same mosque. The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007. The mosque complex covers an area of around 30 acers exclusive of exterior landscaping and vehicle parking. It is the country’s key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers.
The Grand Mosque’s design and construction “unites the world” by using artisans and materials from many countries including India, Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Macedonia and United Arab Emirates. More than 3,000 workers and 38 renowned contracting companies took part in the construction of the mosque. Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction due to their long lasting qualities, including marble stone, gold, semi-precious stone, crystals and ceramics. It was built by the Italian company Impregilo. The design of the mosque was inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco being direct influences. Grand Mosque’s design was a fusion of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.
The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world’s largest carpet made by Iran’s prayer hall is considered to be the world’s largest carpet made by Iran’s Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This carpet measures 60,570 square feet and was made by around 1,200 – 1,300 carpet knotters and took approximately 2 years to complete. The weight of this carpet is 35 ton and is predominantly made from wool originating from New Zealand and Iran.
The seven chandeliers were made by Faustig in Munich, Germany that incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world and has a 10 m diameter and 15 m height.
The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl. The 99 names (qualities or attributes) of Allah are featured on the Qibla wall in traditional Kufic calligraphy is designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher, Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi.