Sheikh Zayed Mosque, 82 Domes of Holiness

October 25, 2011

Persian Gulf, Photos, Special Features

Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the third largest, and arguably one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Not only is Sheikh Zayed Abu Dhabi’s greatest worship place, but it is also considered the UAE’s grand mosque. It is estimated that as many as 40,000 people kneel on its luxurious carpets toward Mecca during Eid, Muslim holidays & festivals (Wikipedia). Naturally, it is one of the Persian Gulf’s most valued architectural treasures.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque at moonlight

Sheikh Zayed Mosque at moonlight (Mitchell MacKinnon)

What is interesting about this holy site is that at first glance, it is hard to realize how new it is. Its intricate details and architecture trick most tourists into believing that the Sheikh Zayed Mosque was constructed in ancient times. However, this could not be farther from the truth.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque decor

Beautiful carvings all over the walls, ceiling and columns (Photo: MrFinland, WikiCommons)

The first ideas to build the Sheikh Zayed Mosque surfaced in the late 80’s and design and location were thought of fondly for another decade before construction even began. Then, toward the end of Ramadan 2007 (September/October), the 82 domes of holiness opened to the public.

Panorama inside Sheikh Sayed Mosque (Photo: Wikipedia. Click to enlarge)

It could be argued that the majestic worship place was simply conceived and constructed with tourism in mind. Whether it is a valid argument or not, one thing is certain: It can be argued. How so? Inside, there are seven German chandeliers, containing millions of Swarovski crystals, in addition to the world’s largest carpet, measuring an astounding 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft) and 2,268,000,000 knots. I think that give us the answer!

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, main praying room

Main praying room of Sheikh Zayed Mosque, with one of the grand Swarovski chandeliers (Photo:

In the main praying room (above), you will find the infamous carpet, which took about two years to complete. It was made by Iran’s Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi (Wiki).

Sheikh Sayed mosque carpet

A piece of the the world's largest carpet (Photo: MrFinland, WikiCommons)

In addition to its 82 white domes of holiness, chandeliers & world’s largest carpet, other imposing features of Sheikh Zayed Mosque include an impressive lightning system and the world’s largest marble mosaic.

Sheikh Sayed mosque, floor

Sheikh Sayed mosque - floor detail (Photo: MrFinland, WikiCommons)

Sheikh Zayed Mosque at night

"The unique lightning system was designed by lightning architects Jonathon Speirs and Major to reflect the phases of the moon" (Wikipedia). Photo:

Indeed, Sheikh Sayed mosque is a must-see when traveling to the Middle East.

Sheikh Sayed mosque archways

The majestic archways of Sheikh Sayed mosque will leave you speechless (Photo: Boyet Damot)

 What’s your favorite Middle Eastern mosque? Why?

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12 Responses to “Sheikh Zayed Mosque, 82 Domes of Holiness”

  1. Mitchell Mackinnon Says:

    Nice choice 🙂 I really was over whelmed with the awe and majesty of this amazing mosque


  2. Ellen Says:

    Fantastic photos! Would you mind telling us what camera you use? Have you studied photography?
    I’m looking forward to reading more and seeing more photos on your blog.


  3. Boyet Damot Says:

    Hi Maria.

    Are you also from the Philippines?

    I am honored that you have considered my photo as worthy of being included in the nice article you wrote above.


    Boyet Damot
    Dubai-based Filipino Expat


  4. Maria Laborde Says:

    Thank you all for the kind words!

    Ellen: Most photos were found around the web – I gave credit to each artist on the caption. Around my website though there are many pictures I’ve taken throughout the years, but with different cameras that eventually die =( I however can attest that Canons are usually the ones that give me best pictures!

    Boyet: I can’t believe you found me! Gorgeous photo, had to feature it 🙂 And answering your question, no I’m not from the Philippines, I’m from Puerto Rico 🙂


  5. Muza-chan Says:

    Great pictures 🙂


  6. Leigh Says:

    What a gorgeous set of photos. I particularly love the last shot.
    You are definitely furthering my Middle East education.


  7. InsideJourneys Says:

    How beautiful! Maybe if my church looked like these, I’d go there more often!


  8. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista Says:

    Wow everything about this Mosque is spectacularly beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us.


  9. Nancie Says:

    Stunning shot! In the world of mosques I would say this one is “over the top” I would love to see that carpet.


  10. Denise Says:

    Oh this place is stunning!!!


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