The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is beyond beautiful, and it is not difficult to see just why it had taken eleven years to construct the impressive and complex structure.
As we drove up to the complex, its grandeur was evident. The huge marble building rose up, shining in the beating sun, and I was eager to visit the holy place which I had heard so much about. Even from outside, it is an incredible sight, but once we had passed through security, we were able to see just how beautiful it was.
The Grand Mosque has a rectangular design with a large open space in the middle in which prayer is held. Surrounded by arches walkways and covered in detailed marble patterns, it was most definitely something to behold.
Inside was just as beautiful. Every surface was elaborately decorated – I didn’t know where to look! There were grand chandeliers, intricately-stitched carpets, engraved pillars, multi-coloured windows – all illuminated carefully so as to have an awe-inspiring impact.
As we toured the Grand Mosque, I was struck not only by the grandeur of the marble and the sheer size of the mosque and its grounds, but by the incredible feat of incorporating floral imagery into just about every surface. The marble walls, the carpets, the windows, the chandeliers – everything takes its design from or is decorated with a pattern of flowers.
Our guide explained that flowers are not common in the desert, and thus are a symbol of hope; hence the desire to incorporate flowers into the aesthetic design of the Grand Mosque. The effect was absolutely stunning.
The Grand Mosque is surrounded by water, which only adds to the incredible sense of calm and peace. Despite the intense heat, it is a very tranquil place, and is definitely worth a visit.