Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
One of the most important architectural landmarks in Abu Dhabi s the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. This is arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society—and one of the most opulent in the world. It was initiated by the late president of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, fondly thought of as the father of the UAE.
Its design and construction reportedly ‘unites the world’, using artisans and materials from many countries including Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Iran, China, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and of course the 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 stones, crystals and ceramics. Construction began on 5 November 1996. The maximum capacity is approximately 41,000 people and the overall structure is 22,412 square metres (241,240 square feet), the internal prayer halls were initially opened in December 2007.
As one of the most visited buildings in the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center was established to manage the day-to-day operations, as a place of worship and Friday gathering and as a centre of learning and discovery through its education and visitor programs.