Monday, March 12, 2012

[ grand mosque in abu dhabi ]

YESTERDAY I went on a little road trip with some expat women to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The largest mosque in the UAE, it can hold over 40,000 people and is a stunningly beautiful structure.

The design of the mosque is a fusion of Arab, Mughai and Moorish architecture and artisans and materials from all around the world were used in its construction. Reflective pools surround the mosque and at night, a unique lighting system is designed to reflect the phases of the moon.

The mosque site is the size of 5 football fields and features 82 domes of Moroccan design, all decorated in white marble. The courtyard is paved in white marble with a coloured floral marble and mosaic inlay.

Once we were all dressed in the abaya robes they provided {some of us brought our own head scarves}, we made our way through the courtyard to the main entrance.

Took off our shoes...

and felt the cool marble under our toes.

The walls and floors of the entrance room are covered in a floral motif inlay crafted from different types of marble from around the world. Flowers are an important motif used to depict paradise.

The first of many gorgeous chandeliers.

Prayer clocks list the names of each prayer and what time it takes place.

We were greeted by our tour guide who led us through to the main prayer room.

This room is all about details. Ceilings and walls are intricately decorated and handcarved Greek marble columns are inlaid with mother of pearl.

The floors are covered with the world's largest carpet {over 60,000 square feet and over 36 tons}, all hand-knotted in Iran by over 1300 artisans.

Huge chandeliers from Germany feature thousands of Swarovski crystals and Italian glasswork.

The 75 foot high Qibla wall {the wall worshippers face in the direction of the Holy City of Mecca when praying} features the 99 names {qualities} of Allah done in traditional Kufi calligraphy.

We were led outside to the outer area where over 1000 marble columns surround the mosque. Semi-precious stones were used to create the floral inlay. Thirty different types of marble were used in this mosque.

The mosque also houses a library with publications dating back over 200 years and is also the final resting place of late UAE president, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the visionary of this beautiful mosque. What an incredible place.



hong kong property said...

that is really lovely! the flower designs are very nice too

Razmataz said...

OMG, it is truly fabulous. North America needs to get back to building our churches with soul and character. New churches here no more than warehoused people now. We need the shrines and special care to create places of worship, not just places to worship.

Thank you for that spectacular tour. Did you have to wear robes, or just a scarf?

Meeling said...

Amazing!! The white against the blue sky outside and all the lovely colors inside. What an experience.

Great photos!!

Privet and Holly said...

That is almost too much
beauty to take in on one
post, Lisa! All the details
are simply breathtaking!
I need to go through your
post at least once more--
amazing stuff. The only
thing missing was a pic
of YOU and your friends.
I would have liked that : )

Happy Day,
xx Suzanne

PS: Thought of you
yesterday when I pulled
out my spring Lisa Roy
for a sunny, 60 degree

Carolyn@SweetChaos said...

Wow! That is truly remarkable. What gorgeous chandeliers, and that marble... oh my!

I have the same question as Chania... do you have to cover up all the time or just when entering a mosque?

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

Lisa, you are so incredibly lucky to have been able to step foot into this spectacular place. I am in awe of it all!!

lisaroyhandbags said...

Re: the abaya robes, we were required to wear the robes over our clothes and keep our heads completely covered with scarves to enter the mosque. We also had to remove our shoes. :)

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow what an impressive place....

emily said...

Wow! How stunning. Those pictures are gorgeous.

Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

Spectacular! My jaw dropped at the floral tile work in the entrance. What beautiful workmanship.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Wow, all I can say is wow! With so much to see it must be hard to appreciate everything in a single visit.

Pinecone Camp said...

Incredible! Thanks for sharing these beautiful images. It must be amazing to see it in person. Wow.

Pinecone Camp said...

Incredible! Thanks for sharing these beautiful images. It must be amazing to see it in person. Wow.

Lissa Pierce said...

Amazing! The inlay work alone is breathtaking....let alone everything else. All gorgeous.

Marianne {Style For Living} said...

Wow! This is incredible!!!


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