Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is more than the Yas Marina Circuit and home of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Its main landmark is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the country, it is the key place of worship for daily, Friday and Eid prayers. During Eid, it may be visited by more than 41,000 people.
The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007.t was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky.
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 11° south of true west, aligning it in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Some key features are:
- The carpet. The carpet in the main prayer hall is 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 1,200-1,300 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 chandeliers. 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.
- The pools.
- 96 columns.
- 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.
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