Feature2 » Sheikh Zayed Mosque- Our very special landmark

Sheikh Zayed Mosque- Our very special landmark

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For anyone visiting Fujairah for the first time it is a given that the breathtaking Sheikh Zayed Mosque will leave a lasting memory. Likewise for those expats who now call Fujairah their 'home from home' this very special landmark never fails to impress. 

 

The construction of the mosque in Fujairah came as an initiative of the President of UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to have the second largest mosque in the UAE after Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi and to be a prominent central landmark in Fujairah.

 

The mosque is also a unique Islamic and cultural center; Sheikh Zayed Mosque Fujairah has succeeded in becoming a prominent cultural and architectural icon that distinguishes this emirate. Likewise, in fulfilling the vision of its namesake, the late founder of the nation His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who strongly believed in the significance of establishing an Islamic and cultural centre that conveys the UAE message of peace, tolerance, and coexistence, this has also been achieved.

 

The construction design phase of Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah began in mid-2005. His Highness Sheikh Hamad Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah actually oversaw the design phase in person, and also followed up personally the construction work and interior design phases on regular bases. 

 

The mosque occupies an area equal to three football pitches with a total area of almost thirty nine thousand square meters. It can accommodate up to twenty eight thousand worshippers, with an area accommodating two thousand five hundred worshippers dedicated for ladies.

 

The architecture of the mosque was inspired by the traditional Turkish architectural style and was constructed according to the highest international construction and design standards. 

 

The construction of this unique edifice took five years with a team that involved more than fifty chief architects and interior design engineers, who executed and supervised the work done daily by approximately seven hundred and fifty craftsmen and workers.

 

The exterior is cladded with white Levant stone and the foyer walls are delicately inlaid with yellow stones with artificial stones utilized in some areas. As for the interior marble cladding, the Maqdisi marble was used which is one of the finest and toughest type of marble.

 

ZayMos3 jpgThe courtyard here at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is mainly used during official Eid Al Fitr (The Feast of Breakfast) and Eid Al Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice) prayers and during the Holy Month of Ramadan’s prayers. The area has been arranged in a manner that allows it to be used as an extension to the prayer hall whenever needed, as the area is equal to the portion dedicated for prayers, and is surrounded by small corridors from all sides.

 

The four arcades of Sheikh Zayed Mosque with all their decorations and aesthetics add to the beauty of the mosque, mainly because they ease the movement around the unroofed open portion of the Sahan (courtyard), as it creates exquisite mixture of shadows and shaped formed by its reflection, adding to the aesthetics of the place.

 

Furthermore, the balconies stand out as an aesthetic delicate decoration, which is considered one of the most significant characteristics of eastern Arabian mosques due to its sublime effect. The walls are further decorated with remarkable spikes placed on the crowning of the columns and walls as an alternative to spherical triangles, with the curves  complimenting the arcades, while supporting the domes architectural plans. 

 

One of the most impressive features is the minarets at Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah.  They abruptly rise through the mass of the huge mosque in a slender and agile manner, cladded in white marble, in harmony with the design elements and the vastness of the mosque. The mosque is characterized by its six minarets that reflect the Ottoman minaret style that is characterized with a cylindrical body (polygon), which ends with a conical pen–like shape, and is distributed as follows: four at each corner of the main prayer hall each reaching one hundred metres in height with three balconies. Two at each corner of the mosque courtyard, each reaching eighty nine metres in height with only two balconies. 


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The mosque main prayer hall is topped by a set of domes that are based on four main pillars. The domes architectural design involves one large central dome (the mother dome) that sits over the four halves of the large dome from all four sides, with each dome sitting over three half domes.

 

Inside the building the carpet covers an area of twelve thousand, five hundred metres squared, as is a distinctive element of the mosque.  It was made in Belgium by a team using four sewing machines. They worked around the clock for ninety days in order to finish it! The carpet at Sheikh Zayed Mosque Fujairah is characterized by its rich Arabesque designs, mingled with the floral leaves. 

 

Lavish and extravagant chandeliers and lanterns that further add an aesthetic touch have been fitted all around the mosque. The chandeliers and lanterns are made of crystal or tinted glass and copper in some areas, while they are gold plated in other areas. The four hundred and eighty five chandeliers are also designed according to the Ottoman style. Interestingly the large chandelier in the main prayer hall is one of a kind in the Gulf region in regards to its style.

 

Hopefully the next time you look in awe at this magnificent sacred building you also will also be equipped with more facts and knowledge of its history and hard work involved in creating the masterpiece.

 

EJ MacManais

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