you think about UAE one of the first thing that enters your mind is the culture
that it represents through its magnificent palaces and mosques. Sheikh Zayed
Grand Mosque is the building I choose to write about. It is not only a highlight
for the city of Abu Dhabi but also serves as a prominent architectural and
intellectual landmark of UAE. It is among one of the few mosques in the world
that permit the entry of non-Muslims.

intrigues me about this mosque is that it is an amalgamation of cultures which
represents the multicultural population of UAE. The design as well as materials
from different parts of the world have come together to construct this ‘white

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entering Abu Dhabi, the majestic Italian and Greek white marble structure,
contrasting with the calm blue sky makes sure one has an unforgettable and
impactful welcome to the city. The floor plan is inspired by the Badshahi
mosque in Lahore. The minarets give a quintessential Arab vibe whereas the
domes are highly inspired by the Moroccan culture. When one enters the mosque,
they are directed to the pearl and marble archways surrounding the grand and
opulent courtyard which is 17000 sq metres big. It displays a unique experience
at all times of the day. At day light one gets a perfect Sufi feeling whereas the
sunset moves your soul with the sublime sound of the evening prayers echoing paired
with the sunlight fading through the arches and domes.  

main prayer hall is a visual treat. The flooring is entirely covered with a
carpet that is said to be the largest in the world. It is hand knitted by an Iranian
company and is designed by an Iranian artist. it also consists of highly
decorative ceramic tiles traditionally hand-crafted by a Turkish calligrapher. That
isn’t the only piece of calligraphy lying in the hall. The inner walls of the
domes in the main prayer hall are calligraphed with verses from the Quran. Hanging
from these beautiful domes are mesmerising chandeliers. The Mosque has seven imported chandeliers that incorporate millions
of Swarovski crystals from Austria and glasswork from Italy. the presence of intricate
glass panels, doors and walls craved with flowers and plants giving the decoration
of the mosque a very organic feel. The Qibla wall (direction of prayer) is made
up of mother of pearl like any other wall but this wall is craved with the 99
names of Allah in traditional Arabic calligraphy and is plated with gold
leaves. The wall has a subtle lighting to it contributing to its organic feel. Not
to forget the mosque is surrounded by a pool. It acts as a mirror to this white
glory as the structure gets reflected onto it increasing the royalty of the
whole experience.

As a conclusion what makes this mosque
special and memorable is that in spite having different colours popping through
marble walls throughout the mosque the purity the white symbolizes isn’t lost. All
the cultures blend together which gives the mosque the whole ‘united world’



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