"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on November 25, 2016 by Sioux under General


Our next adventure was a tour around the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, in Abu Dhabi, before taking me to my next stop. The massive mosque is considered to be the key site for worship in the country. We were obliged to cover up, wearing long trousers, long sleeves and head covering. It was extremely hot and by the time we were done and got back to the car, I was soaked. Our trusty driver had kept the air-con on and the coolness of the car was extremely welcoming.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque project was launched by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007, and is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. 


The building complex measures approximately 290m x 420m, covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), excluding the exterior landscaping and vehicle parking. 

As the country’s grand mosque, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid the mosque may be visited by more than 41,000 people. The mosque is large enough to accommodate over 40,000 worshipers. The main prayer hall can accommodate over 7,000 worshipers. There are two smaller prayer halls, with a 1,500-capacity each, one of which is the female prayer hall. The Mosque’s design and construction “unites the world”, using artisans and materials from many countries including India, Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Macedonia and United Arab Emirates. 

More than 3,000 workers and 38 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.


There are four minarets on the four corners of the courtyard which each rise about 107m in height. The courtyard, with its floral design, measures about 17,000 m2, and is considered to be the largest example of marble mosaic in the world.

The Mosque has many special and unique elements – one of those being the carpet in the main prayer hall is thought to be the world’s largest carpet measuring 5,627 m2.


It was made by around 1,200-1,300 carpet knotters. The weight of the carpet is 35tonnes and is made predominantly 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.    

Then it was time to say our farewells, and head for my second stop over which was in Abu Dhabi, and to meet the twins, my Abu Dhabi friend’s kids, who are already over 2 years old! Another destination I can tag on my world map, more great memories made, loads more photos in my album!


All in all, a wonderful trip with very good friends, I left with fabulous memories.      



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3 responses to “Middle East part 3 – big, big, big…”

  1. Paul says:

    A bit bigger then the Masjid here in Midrand?

  2. Derrick Baney says:

    A very different kind of Church i suppose – looks like lots of money
    Thanksgiving day 25 November here in the US of A

  3. jackie says:

    Wow Sue, these are impressive what a beautiful mosque

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