Sunday, September 6, 2015

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

There was once a great man who had a vision of establishing a structure which unites the cultural diversity of the Islamic world, as well as the historical and modern values of architecture and the arts.  And that vision was realized as I stood at awe in this grand edifice – the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, conceptualized by the late President of UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE FACADE
As the largest mosque in United Arab Emirates, it can accommodate more than 40,000 worshippers.  Tourists are further welcome and what makes it more remarkable is the fact that it does not impose admission fees.

The huge complex is so well-maintained and visitors are expected to behave accordingly.  The imposing white marbles, minarets and domes constituting its fa├žade provides a tranquil and relaxing vibe that roaming around the vicinity entails respect.  And to dress appropriately is one sign of respect.  I came dressed in plain shirt, pants and leather shoes on, quite unusual for any trips abroad I have but I have to, otherwise, I might regret not being able to visit the grand mosque.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE GRAND ENTRANCE
THE COLUMNS
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
FEATURING THE MINARET AND COLUMNS
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
CEILING DETAILS OF THE ENTRANCE HALL
At the basement of the mosque, abayas (loose fitting robe) are provided before entering the mosque (black for ladies and white for gentlemen).  I wasn’t provided one though I requested.  Footwear are instructed to be removed before entering the main prayer hall and even the comfort rooms.  I was amazed of the architectural design of the comfort room, it is so spacious with interior details that could pass as part of the mosque.  Racks are provided at the entrance for footwear to be placed.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
COMFORT ROOM DETAILS
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE COMFORT ROOM
The visitors line up to the main prayer hall where noticeable is the vast compound covered by marble tiles as we pass by intricately designed columns and minarets.  The inner court yard is also panoramic.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE INNER COURT YARD

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

There are so many interesting features in the design, architectural details and construction of the Grand Mosque.  Others say it would be advisable to hire a local guide.  But in our case, inasmuch as we wanted to, I am pressed for time, thus, I have to do the tour on my own pace.  It was around 4 in the afternoon (8PM Philippine time) when we entered the mosque.

Despite the hot and humid weather, predicaments are lost once I took photos of every corner of the Grand Mosque.  Every detail is worth a subject.

There are four minarets on the four corners of the courtyard and the floral-designed courtyard is considered the largest example of marble mosaic in the world.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
ENTRANCE TO THE MAIN PRAYER HALL
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE LARGEST MARBLE MOSAIC IN THE WORLD
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE MARBLE MOSAIC AND FACADE
The Grand Mosque holds a number of world records.  As I enter the main prayer hall, I am enamored by its intricate and interesting interior design with fixtures truly captivating.  The carpet is considered the world’s largest carpet made by Iran’s Carpet Company and interestingly, hand-knotted. 

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
INTERIOR DESIGN OF THE MAIN PRAYER HALL
The chandeliers in the mosque are also an added charm and elegance to the interiors.  There are seven of them imported from the company Faustig in Munich Germany and all incorporates millions of swarovski crystals.  The largest chandelier inside the Grand Mosque is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque and the third largest in the world.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE WORLD RECORD HOLDER CHANDELIER
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
MILLIONS OF SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS MAKE UP A CHANDELIER
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

As we walk towards the farther end, I can’t help but notice that even columns/posts are clad with marble and embedded with mother of pearl.  At the main hall, I noticed strokes written on a certain portion where a subtle fiber-optic lighting is featured.  I asked my friend if there is a meaning to such but we both don’t know since we don’t have a tour guide.  Later on, I’ve learned this is what they call the Qibla wall where the 99 names (qualities or attributes) of God (Allah) are featured in traditional Kufic calligraphy.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
CALLIGRAPHY ON QIBLA WALL

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

In keeping with Sheikh Zayed’s vision, the Grand Mosque’s design and architecture “unites the world”, using artisans and materials from many countries including India, Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece and United Arab Emirates.  Natural materials were chosen for much of its design and construction including marble stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE UNIQUE INTERIOR DESIGN AND THE HAND-KNOTTED CARPET
To describe the mosque as grand is an understatement, I was really fascinated of the said structure that no exact words may have been invented for such feeling.  Passing by the bridge of Abu Dhabi enroute to Dubai, the mosque greets every passerby as if making a grand welcome to the capital city of UAE.

ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUEABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE LARGEST MOSQUE OF UAE
ABU DHABI, UAE | SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
THE GRAND MOSQUE OF ABU DHABI


0 comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...