All those who have been at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi tell about its fabulous luxury, however, this can hardly be explained by the desire to show the wealth of the country. It`s rather a monument of thankful descendants to the Sheikh Zayed who founded UAE and turned it into one of the richest countries in the world for 40 years.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was born in 1918 and was the youngest son of the Sheikh Sultan who ruled the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during 1921-1926. As apart from him there were many other heirs to the throne, he had to wander a lot over the Arabian Peninsula in search of better life. Together with European geologists he looked for oil in the desert.
In 1946 he became the ruler of the Al Ain Oasis, and in 1966 – the Sheikh of the entire Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Already in 1971 the Sheikh Zayed united 5 independent principalities and formed a single state called the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with dominant role belonging to the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi. The authority of the sheikhs of the united significantly grew in the Arab community, and so did the well-being of all bedouins living in this country. Sheikh Zayed died in 2004 and almost at once it was decided to build the white mosque.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque was finished in 2007. It was also buried there. Now it is the six largest mosque in the world. As to its decoration and architectural features, many of them are the largest in the world, and by luxury and cost of used construction materials the mosque is unparalleled.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is topped with a white dome weighing 1000 tonnes. It is considered to be the largest dome in the world. Apart from this dome, there are 80 more domes in different places. Under the central dome there hang a 15-meter chandelier decorated with the Swarovski crystals.
The most skilful Iranian weavers had woven the world`s largest carpet for 2 years. It covers all the inner space of the mosque of 5.6 thousand square meters. The mosque can accommodate 40 thousand prayers. Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open for the non-Muslims, which is not characteristic of the mosques of the other countries of the world.
Inner court of the mosque is dazzling white. In some places the white marble floor is inlaid with flower patterns made of colorful marble and semi-precious stones.