The majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the UAE's most imposing religious and national landmark. Standing as a beacon of hospitality at the entrance to Abu Dhabi city, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world's largest, is a masterpiece of internationalism: a cultural statement that crosses boundaries with all being invited within its marble-clad walls.
Conceived by the late UAE President and Abu Dhabi Ruler whose name the mosque takes, this imposing site now marks the final resting place of its architect and the man who became known as the 'Father of The Nation.'
Symbolising the true spirit of Islam, with peace, education and tolerance at its core, the mosque lives up to Sheikh Zayed's enduring legacy of unity. Master craftsmen from all corners of the earth have worked on the finest of materials used in raising this singularly imposing, yet strangely humbling, place of worship. Carpet weavers from Iran toiled to create the world's largest hand-made carpet which adorns the main prayer hall. The main prayer hall features the world's largest chandelier under the main dome - being 10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing over nine tonnes. Crystals from Austria, marble from Italy, China and Greece and calligraphied tiles from Turkey combine to produce a national landmark whose inspiring 24 carat gold-topped domes glitter under Abu Dhabi's sun washed skies.
The library, located in the north minaret serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, coins and includes some rare publications dating back more than 200 years! The ten-year plan of the library aims to provide the reader and researcher with exceptional resources allowing it to become one of the top international centers focused on Islamic civilization as perceived and documented by world cultures.www.szgmc.ae Photograph: 'Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque' by Taj Mahal Ibrahim