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SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.

It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world. The building complex measures approximately 290 m (960 ft) by 420 m (1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), exclusive of exterior landscaping and vehicle parking.

The only mosque in Dubai which is open to Non-Muslims on a guided tour, the Grand Mosque or the Jumeirah mosque is a glimpse into the world of skilled Islamic Artisans. It is the largest mosque in the UAE and the eighth largest mosque in the world. The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture. The courtyard with its floral design which measures about 1,80,000 sq. ft is considered to be the largest example of marble mosaic in the world. The Mosque also represents a fertile spiritual space, enriched throughout the ages by the shining inheritance of Islam. It seeks to truly reflect the open spirit of renaissance which has long inspired humanity with its great purity.

The library, located in the north/east minaret, serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, coins and includes some rare publications dating back more than 200 years. In reflection of the diversity of the Islamic world and the United Arab Emirates, the collection comprises material in a broad range of languages, including Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Korean.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's design and construction "unites the world", using artisans and materials from many countries including Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece 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 stones, crystals and ceramics.

The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been 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. The dome layout and floor plan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.

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.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has many special and unique elements: The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet. This carpet 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.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven chandeliers. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world and has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.

The pools along the arcades reflect the mosque's spectacular columns, which becomes even more glorious at night. The unique lighting system was designed by lightning architects Speirs and Major 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.

The 96 columns in the main prayer hall are clad with marble and inlaid with mother of pearl, one of the few places where you will see this craftsmanship.

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