Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Coordinates: 24°24′43.2″N 54°28′26.4″E / 24.412000°N 54.474000°E / 24.412000; 54.474000
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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
جَامِع ٱلشَّيْخ زَايِد ٱلْكَبِيْر
View of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from the courtyard, 2018
DeityAllah (God)
LocationAbu Dhabi
Country United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Location within the UAE
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Middle East
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Location within the Middle East
Geographic coordinates24°24′43.2″N 54°28′26.4″E / 24.412000°N 54.474000°E / 24.412000; 54.474000
Architect(s)Yusef Abdelki
Construction costDhs2 billion (US$545 million)
Length420 m (1,380 ft)
Width290 m (950 ft)
Dome(s)82 domes of 7 different sizes
Dome height (outer)85 m (279 ft)
Dome dia. (outer)32.2 m (106 ft)
Minaret height107 m (351 ft)
مركز جامع الشيخ زايد الكبير

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Arabic: جَامِع ٱلشَّيْخ زَايِد ٱلْكَبِيْر Jāmiʿ Aš-Šaykh Zāyid Al-Kabīr) is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.[1] It is the country's largest mosque, and is the key place of worship for daily Islamic prayers. There is a smaller replica of this mosque in Surakarta, a city in Indonesia.[2]


The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1994 and 2007 and was inaugurated in December 2007.[3] The building complex measures approximately 290 by 420 m (950 by 1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), excluding exterior landscaping and vehicle parking. The main axis of the building is rotated about 12° south of true west, aligning it in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The project was launched by the late president of the U.A.E., Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art.[4] In 2004, Sheikh Zayed died and was buried in the courtyard of the mosque.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC) offices are located in the west minarets. SZGMC manages the day-to-day operations and serves as a center of learning and discovery through its educational cultural activities and visitor programs. The library, located in the northeast minaret, serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, and coins, including some rare publications. The collection comprises material in a broad range of languages, including Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Korean. For two years running, it was voted the world's second favourite landmark by TripAdvisor.[5]

Design and construction[edit]

The mosque was built under the guidance and supervision of Sheikh Zayed, who was buried here after his death in 2004. The mosque was designed under the management of the Syrian architect Youssef Abdelke, and three other architectural designers from Syria who completed the design and worked on developing it, Basem Barghouti, Moataz Al-Halabi, and Imad Malas.[6]

The mosque's architect Yusef Abdelki took inspiration from a number of sources: the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque in Alexandria, designed by Mario Rossi in the 1920s;[7] the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan;[8] and other references of Persian, Mughal, and Indo-Islamic architecture. The dome layout and floorplan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish, and its minarets classically Arab.

In a joint-venture between Italian contractors Impregilo and Rizzani de Eccher, more than 3,000 workers and 38 sub-contracting companies were conscripted in its construction. The mosque was completed under a second contract by a Joint Venture between ACC and Six Construct (part of Belgian company BESIX Group) between 2004 and 2007.[9][10][11] Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction due to their long-lasting qualities, including marble stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics. Artisans and materials came from many countries including Syria, especially from Damascus and Aleppo, and some other countries such as India, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, North Macedonia and the U.A.E.[citation needed]

Dimensions and statistics[edit]

The mosque is large enough to accommodate over 40,100 worshippers, while the main prayer hall can hold over 7,000. There are two smaller prayer halls, with a capacity of 1,500 each, one of which is the women's prayer hall.[1]

There are four minarets on the four corners of the courtyard which rise about 107 m (351 ft) in height. The courtyard, with its floral design, measures about 17,000 m2 (180,000 sq ft), and is considered to be the largest example of marble mosaic in the world.[1]

Marble used in the construction included:

To compare, the King Faisal Mosque of Sharjah, formerly the largest mosque in Sharjah[12] and country, measures 10,000–12,000 m2 (110,000–130,000 sq ft).[13][14]

Architectural features[edit]

The carpet in the hall is considered by many [by whom?] to be the world's largest carpet made by Iran's Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi.[15] It measures 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and was made by around 1,200-1,300 carpet knotters. The weight of this carpet is 35 ton and is predominantly made from wool (originating from New Zealand and Iran). There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet and it took approximately two years to complete.[1]

The Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers from the company 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,[clarification needed] and has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.[1]

The pools along the arcades reflect the mosque's columns, which become illuminated at night. The unique lighting system was designed by lighting architects Speirs and Major Associates to reflect the phases of the moon. Beautiful bluish gray clouds are projected in lights onto the external walls and get brighter and darker according to the phase of the moon.[citation needed]

The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl, one of the few places where one can see this craftsmanship.[citation needed].

The 99 names (qualities or attributes) of God (Allah) are featured on the Qibla wall in traditional Kufic calligraphy, designed by the prominent UAE calligrapher — Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi. The Qibla wall also features subtle fibre-optic lighting, which is integrated as part of the organic design.

In total, three calligraphy styles — Naskhi, Thuluth and Kufic — are used throughout the mosque and were drafted by Mohammed Mandi Al Tamimi of the UAE, Farouk Haddad of Syria and Mohammed Allam of Jordan.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi".
  2. ^ "President Sheikh Mohamed attends inauguration of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Indonesia: Mosque is almost identical to the original in Abu Dhabi". The National. 2022-11-14. Retrieved 2022-11-15.
  3. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque". Abu Dhabi Government. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi". Wondermondo.
  5. ^ The National staff (27 May 2017). "Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ranked the world's second favourite landmark | The National". Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  6. ^ "9 Most Famous Buildings in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah That Put the UAE on the World Map". AD Middle East. 2023-12-02. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  7. ^ "7 Facts You Must Know About Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque". MSN News. 12 March 2021.
  8. ^ Vanessa Chiasson (15 November 2019). "8 Of The Most Beautiful Places In Abu Dhabi". Travel Awaits.
  9. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque". Accsal. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Marbled architectural splendor". Besix. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Infrastructure boost". Gulf Construction Online. 2004-08-01.
  12. ^ "A look at the magnificent mosques of the UAE". Khaleej Times. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  13. ^ Al Qassemi, Sultan Sooud (2017-11-16). "Demystifying Sharjah's iconic King Faisal Mosque". Gulf News. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  14. ^ Kakande, Yasin (2011-08-11). "Sharjah's mosque where the faithful can listen and learn". Sharjah: The National. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  15. ^ "Iran weaves world's largest carpet". Web India 123. 2007-07-28.

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