Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Arabic: مسجد الشيخ زايد) in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who is also buried there. The mosque was officially opened in the Islamic month of Ramadan in 2007.
The mosque is open to the public Saturday through Thursday mornings until noon, with a tour at 10.
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 (377 ft) in height. There are 57 domes covering the outside yard and the main building as well. The domes are decorated with white marble and the interior decoration is made of marble. The courtyard is paved with floral marble designs and measures about 17,000 m2 (180,000 sq ft).
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 and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This 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 2,268,000,000 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.
Both of these records were previously held by the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman.