ABU DHABI — The White Mosque or Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque will be inaugurated in the last week of September.
The Dh2,167 billion project, work on which began in 1996, employed more than 3,000 workers as well as 38 global contracting companies, Engineer Khawlah Solaiman Al Sleimani, project manager, told Khaleej Times.
She said the mosque, which can accommodate 40,000 people, is a unique architectural feat.
According to her, the mosque is a piece of progressive Islamic architecture that has been built in line with the architectural development in the country and with the most up-to-date construction systems in the world with regard to the design and size of the structure. The mosque has seven German chandeliers. The chandelier that will be fixed in the main dome is the biggest in the world. It has a diameter of 10 metres and its height is 15 metres. Its stainless steel body is coated with gold.
The second and third chandeliers are seven metres in diameter, and 12 metres in height while the fourth chandelier is quite smaller. It is 4.30 metres in diametre, and 6.5 metres in height. The other three chandeliers are 3.5 metres in diametre and 5.5 metres in height. They consist of a metal structure coated with gold, and various coloured crystals. The seven chandeliers cost Dh30 million.
The mosque will enter the Guinness Book of World Records with its enormous carpet measuring 5,627 square metres. It is the largest in the world. Some 1,200 weavers, along with 20 technicians, and 30 workers put their efforts together to prepare this large handmade masterpiece, Khawla Solaiman said. The carpet, which weighs 47 tonnes — 35 tonnes of wool, and 12 tonnes of cotton, is unique with its designs, colours, and number of knots totalling 2,268,000. The carpet is estimated to cost Dh30 million. It consists of the best 25 colours used in Iranian carpets, she noted.
There are 57 domes covering the outside yards, main and side entries. All the domes of the mosque are coated from outside by white marble and the interior decor has been made of white gypsum. The mosque has four minarets which are 107 metres tall. The mosque’s main court measuring 17,000 square metres is the largest open space in mosques all over the world. Khawla Solaiman added that the mosque has 100 places for ablution in addition to the 80 water closets (toilets).