David outside the entrance dome to the mosque. A subterranean passage and escalators now take one right outside – a boon in the heat.
I first visited the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque a couple of years ago. Since then the improvements have been amazing. Entrance facilities now include this underground shopping complex.
From exterior courtyard to columns, the floral theme predominates.
Columns stand beside water gardens,which mirror some of the eighty-something domes, glittering in white marble. Designed by Syrian architect, Yousef Abdelky, one couldn’t fail to be impressed by magnificent building. It covers a dozen hectares and can accommodate 40,000 worshippers.
I loved the floral decorations with morning glory and other flowers created from multi-coloured marble tesserae and even crystal, flowing over floor tiles and walls. Aligned towards Kaaba in Mecca, it’s design was influenced by Persian, Mughal, and Alexandrian sources. A number of other Mosques have contributed to the design, including some in Pakistan and Lahore. It’s wonderful library shows the cultural diversity of Islam. The shelves are devoted to the sciences, civilization, calligraphy, and the arts. Books are available in a variety of languages, including French and English.
We loved the peace, cool and calm inside, the huge, wonderful spaces, the exquisite floral and other intricate decorations took my breath away. Some of the chandeliers used millions of Swarovski crystals, designed in Munich, Germany.
This place of worship can accommodate up to thirty thousand of the Muslim faith! It is worth several visits for those who appreciate marvellous architecture and design, a cultural treasure which Abu Dhabi shares with the world .