SHEIKH ZAYED MOSQUE- ABU DHABI

There is a great amount of mosque in the UAE, where Abu Dhabi itself hosts about 1500 mosques for the Islamic pilgrimage of the region. But there is one mosque which is the best among the eight greatest mosques in the world which is known as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which would be further discussed in this blog (CNN Travel 2019).

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is popularly known both for its magnitude as well as for its architectural layout. However the mosque has been described to be immensely beautiful because of its walls made up of white marbles, delicate stone work as well as great chandeliers made up of crystals which are considered to immensely beautiful.

History

The name of the grand mosque has been derived from the name of the very first king of UAE, known as Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The late ruler had a goal in his life to create a mosque and he also incorporated its foundation layout. The mosque is situated near the burial place of the late ruler making it a sentimental place for each and every people living in the UAE.

However the Sheikh Zayed Mosque marks the feeling of toleration as well as dignity. It is a place where a particular kind of culture will be able to understand another culture and also attain a great level of understanding about the religion of Islam (Visitabudhabi.ae 2019).

The key motive conveyed by the mosque is as pretty as its architecture, promoting toleration, calmness and lovingness.

White Marble Walls

The walls of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque were created using the white color marbles which was brought from Macedonia. The texture of the mosque was selected by the late ruler itself signifying the feeling of pureness in the creation. However the selected color of the mosque is considered to be the most surprising aspect of the mosque. The walls of the mosque were decorated using stones made up of a great variety of colors in the style of a flower which added to the greater beauty of the mosque.

Moreover the different pillars as well as the different walls of the mosque starting from the entry gate of the mosque to the key hall meant for prayers, the details of the delicate flower decorations attracted the attention of the different visitors to the mosque. However its adds a sensation of colors to the walls of the grand mosque.

The Key Prayer Hall

The establishment of the prayer hall is a creation of art on itself. For every details of the designs made on the mosque ranging from the surface to the upper wall of the mosque, the beauty of every portion will leave the worshippers in a state of amazement.

However the world’s biggest size hand woven carpet covers the surface of the mosque. There were about 1200 artists needed to put the idea of the third generation carpet maker into action. The concerned carpet maker was known as the Dr. Ali Khaliqi.

The ceiling of the mosque was as much as beautiful as the carpeted portion of the mosque. The ceiling of the mosque has seven chandeliers made up of crystal, out of which the biggest of all was situated in the key prayer hall, which is weighted 12 tons. However the smaller kind of chandeliers situated in the hall weighted 8 tons. Each and every minute portion of the mosque has the power to impress the visitors with their Swarovski crystal.

Moreover the walls of the core hall for the prayers are created with the marbles with beautiful patterns incorporated on it and the same is also incorporated in the ceilings of the mosque. The core wall of the mosque which is turn towards the direction of Mecca, where the imam stands on a platform known as the Pulpit in the due course of conducting their prayers is beautified with the help of 99 names of Allah engraved in it in the Arabic language. This in turn signifies a great level of worshipping as well as dignity among the visitors of the mosque.

Domes and other external details

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi has a total of about 82 domes which is made of different sizes. Like the other portion of the mosque, even the domes are made up of the white marbles with a golden glass cover incorporated on each of the domes. There are also adequate windows which are situated below each of these domes, which enable the light to enter the prayer hall of the mosque. The biggest among all the 82 domes is situated above the core prayer hall of the grand mosque.

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque has 22 light posts which have been incorporated outside the mosque which brightens up the external portion of the mosque in the evening time. However even the lighting of the mosque has a range of certain external ordinary features, which in turn portrays the different sights of the moon, beginning with the dark sight of the clouds to demonstrate the starting of a particular month, moving to the curved pattern of the moon, transforming slowly to a much brighter color as the complete vision of the moon comes closer (We Are Travel Girls 2019).

Some Significant Facts

The mosque occupies approximately 12 hectors of land that is 290 meters by 420 meters of land, which makes it the third greatest mosque in the world, ranked after the mosque in Mecca and Medina in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (We Are Travel Girls 2019).  However the mosque is considered to so large that it can withstand about 41,000 devotees at a single time in the grand mosque. The core hall of the mosque can manage 10,000 worshipers in total at a single span of time.

It has also been determined that the various different resources required to create the Sheikh Zayed Mosque was traded from various different countries in this world. Moreover the designers of the mosque obtained the various different resources for its creation from the countries of New Zealand, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Greece, Pakistan, Austria, Italy, Germany, India and China.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque contains a range of Minars which consists of range of designs for the architecture of the mosque which was obtained from Mamluk, Ottoman and Fatimid.However the core prayer hall of the mosque completed the process of its designing in a span of 8 months, the carpet was woven in a span of one year and it took another 2 months to assemble its entire portion and wove it all together. Moreover it required around 1200 labors to make the whole carpet which was about 5,700 meters long (We Are Travel Girls 2019).

The seven chandeliers made up of the crystals were made up by a Germany based company, which was manufactured from the stainless steel and brass, developed from 24 karats of gold.The building up of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque started in the year 1996 and was completed by the year 2007. The total creation of the mosque required more than 3000 labors and about 32 promoters who labored together to complete the overall construction process of the mosque. Finally it was in the year 2007 it was ready to be visited by the public or the tourist to the country.

Tips for visiting the mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque requires no entry fees for any of its visitors or the tourists and it is open from Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 10pm. It is only open for the tourists on Friday morning and tourists are only allowed beyond 4:30pm.

The visitors to the mosque are required to dress up in a dignified manner with a due amount of respect to the place of worship; the outfit should be long and should also be loosely fitted. However it is also recommended to wear a trouser up to the length of the ankle, both for the male as well as the female visitors to the mosque. The female visitors are also required to put on a scarf covering their hair (We Are Travel Girls 2019). Moreover it has also been determined that if the dress code of a female visitor is found to be improper, they would be ordered to wear an Abaya which is also available on hire.

Conclusion

Hence the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an art work of the architecture, which has been determined to be the prettiest mosque in the province of the UAE.  It is considered to be a must visit place for every tourist to the country.However this blog has taken into consideration the history, architecture of the grand mosque, which includes the white marble walls, the ceilings, the main hall for the prayers, the lighting, the chandeliers and the other important features. It has also taken into consideration certain important facts and tips about the mosque, which includes the timings as well as the dress code deemed to be suitable for the mosque.

Since the mosque is extremely it requires approximately three hours discovering every aspect of the mosque in a comprehensive manner.

References:

We Are Travel Girls. (2019). 9 Tips For Visiting The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque | We Are Travel Girls. [online] Available at: https://wearetravelgirls.com/9-tips-visiting-sheikh-zayed-abu-dhabi/ [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].

visitabudhabi.ae. (2019). Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. [online] Available at: https://visitabudhabi.ae/en/see.and.do/attractions.and.landmarks/iconic.landmarks/sheikh.zayed.grand.mosque.aspx [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].

CNN Travel. (2019). The world’s grandest place of worship. [online] Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/sheikh-zayed-grand-mosque-abu-dhabi/index.html [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].

Louvre Abu Dhabi

In the year 2015, Le Louvre Abu Dhabi was established as a museum of universal art project which is due to the innovative kind of the collaboration of the culture between two countries which is France and United Arab Emirates. The approval of the museum was given by the French Parliament on 9th October, 2007. The Louvre museum is a cultural and art museum which is located in the city of Abu Dhabi at United Arab Emirates. This museum was inaugurated in the year 2017, November 8, by the French President Emmanuel Macron and Vice President of United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and by Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. The artworks from all over the globe are showcased in this museum having a particular focus on establishing the bridge between the Western and Eastern art (Louvre Abu Dhabi 2019). The aim and objective was stated so as to establish a new national institution through the development of culture, tourism, art, education and the services. In the year 2007, March 6, this agreement was signed between France and United Arab Emirate. Hence, the new Louvre was made into franchise and had been brought to Abu Dhabi. There is a thirty year deal which is amount € 1 billion which includes the assistance from the French Louvre with the management of the exhibition, providing art works and advisory to the franchise of the Middle East. The architecture of this museum is very mesmerizing which is designed as a seemingly structure which has a dome kind of formation. The dome which is kind of a web patterned allows the rays of the sun to pass in. In the new museum, there is a permanent collection of six hundred artworks, including three hundred loans taken from twelve French institutions (Louvre.fr 2019). The French website of Le Louvre Museum, Le Louvre Abu Dhabi is shown as a worldwide project. The goal of the Le Louvre Abu Dhabi is shown as the formation of a new important museum with its very own collection and finally becoming a solo player in the platform of the world museum. Louvre will be an independent institution which will reflect the ages and the local traditions of the country as it is notified that the future museum that will not be a replica of the French Louvre. Hence, from the French part, it thrives on the creation of the new institution that is based on the expertise and French access. The other view point is that the dominating Western museums like the Louvre (1793) and the British (1753) portrays the civilized nation of Europe through the displaying of the canon of the Europe for its cultural benefits from Greece and Rome till date. The museum powers are related with the identity of the nationals and also to the desire of the proliferation of the museums that is due to the newly budding and developing countries (ArchDaily 2019). Now, if we take into account that the Emirates aims to create a national identity and again France which wants to franchise the museum as brand, so these statements become sensible. According to the architectural point of view, the museum is designed by Jean Nouvel, who is a French architect, Le Louvre Abu Dhabi is considered to be the architectural masterpiece which is designed as to offer the visitors on a high impact of the experience of the architecture and museum that forms dialogue among the cultures. Andrew McClellan in his article Museum Expansion in the Twenty-First Century: Abu Dhabi states the statement of Frank Gehry who is the designer of Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi that the approach that has been made to design the museum in the Abu Dhabi had made the possibility to design museum located in United Kingdom or United States. So, this approach can also be applicable for the Louvre too (ArchDaily 2019). In the year 2012, the Louvre started collecting photography paving its way to the work of Roger Fenton, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey and George Wilson Bridges. In the year 2017, Louvre decided to display Leonardo Da Vinci’s artwork Salvador Mundi, and other works by Claude Monet, Henri Matisee, etc. The chances for the designers help in building the museum with the lump sum amount of budget without any limit, in such a viewpoint that they might not get any chance to form anywhere in Europe or in United States of America. On the other hand, it can be said that the money and space have allowed them to do what any other city won’t do. To mention about the Bilbao effect of Le Louvre Abu Dhabi that is also recognized as a cultural hub in the area consisting of new museums that will generate the facility of the tourism, housing markets and local businesses. The museums also seek to establish or to expand the cities as the cultural destinations (Louvre.fr 2019). Obviously, we need to consider that Abu Dhabi is the tourist spot for the visitors and a point of attraction. The United Arab Emirates is considered to be one of the outgrowing industries of tourism across the globe. In the year 2008, the United Arab Emirates raked the highest among the countries in terms of the investment of the government in the framework of tourism. By the year 2020, the investment in the regional tourism is estimated to be at top with $ 3.6 million. And by the year 2030, Abu Dhabi is hoping to be one of the top five most visited cities all across the globe. In such a city, museums like Louvre function as a tourist attraction having the possibility of the higher attendance. On the other hand, for example France creates a separate unit in Abu Dhabi that will provide a variant number of audiences (Louvre.fr 2019). The local people of United Arab Emirates can be considered as a new audience excluding the tourists. This would be the objective of the French Louvre Museum to expand its own towards the formation of the worldwide space and to attain the diverse audience from all around the globe. France has already taken the inspiration through the export of the cultural heritage and started renting the national collections prior to Abu Dhabi. In the year 2006, the first branch of Le Louvre opened in Atlanta, Georgia in exchange for thirteen million euros which it had loaned from its artworks for a period of 3 years. It is very significant to note that the International Council of Museums Code of Ethics which states that museums are created without considering any sort of profit making business out from it, as the collections of the museum are created on the grounds of the society which cannot be treated as financial assets. It is very difficult to think that having seven million visitors a year; Le Louvre is not earning enough revenue to continue itself in the market (Louvre.fr 2019). The museum in Abu Dhabi is not a replica of the French Louvre, it is basically an individual institution which offers its own knowledge of interpretation of the global museum while having a reflection of its own age and the local traditions of the country where it is located in. The collection of the museum consists of the loan that is taken out from French institution which is done in the order of the rotation on the basis of ten year. The uniqueness of the Louvre, Abu Dhabi is based on the vision of the creation of art. Traditionally, the museum organizes their collections from through the school, elements and tactics.  We also need to think about the art of the economy of the market where the present domination is all by the contemporary art (Louvre.fr 2019). The French section is that the Abu Museum is possibly the main point to the long term strategy for the creation of the sustainable economy in shaping the economy, tourism and culture. The approach of French on the Louvre can be set as an example in creating the sense of the universal project through the embracing of the several and different cultures which is through the abandonment of the concept that a museum is tied to a specific area. Le Louvre museum shares its national to bridge the cultural gaps between two nations. It is very usual to think about the risks those can take place in the future so as to franchise the cultural institution of the nation. It is important to ask ourselves that whether it helps in the cultivation of the huge cultural understanding for the people or not. But it can be determined as the aim of profit rather than determining it for the benefit of the public. Jacques Chirac who is the president of the French Republic stated about Louvre, Abu Dhabi:

By choosing the Louvre, the emirate of Abu Dhabi not only sealed a partnership with the world’s most visited and well-known museum, but selected one which, from its very incept, had a vocation to reach out to the world, to the essence of mankind, through the contemplation of works of art.

Reference:

Louvre Abu Dhabi – See Humanity in a new light. Louvre Abu Dhabi (2019). Louvre Abu Dhabi – See Humanity in a new light. [online] Available at: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/ [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].

Louvre.fr. (2019). The Louvre Abu Dhabi | Louvre Museum | Paris. [online] Available at: https://www.louvre.fr/en/louvre-abu-dhabi [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].

ArchDaily. (2019). Louvre Abu Dhabi / Ateliers Jean Nouvel. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/883157/louvre-abu-dhabi-atelier-jean-nouvel [Accessed 1 Jul. 2019].

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