zayed bin sultan

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Grand Mosque was commissioned to be built by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His intention was to build a building that unites the cultural diversity of the Islamic world. Intricate designs of plants and flowers adorn the marble columns and walls of the mosque, a tribute to the Sheikh’s love of nature. 

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The United Arab Emirates is comprised of seven emirates, which occupy the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Each emirate, unique and rich in tradition, is an essential component necessary for making up the whole.

1⃣ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi, by far the largest emirate, is ruled by the Al Nahyan family. It occupies 67,340 square kilometres or 86.7% of the total area of the country. The emirate is primarily a vast desert area with about two dozen islands in the coastal waters, including the island where the city of Abu Dhabi is located, plus six sizeable islands further out in the Arabian Gulf. The population of the emirate is concentrated in three areas: the capital city, Abu Dhabi; Al Ain, an oasis city located near the Hajar Mountains; and the villages of the Liwa oases.
Traditionally, the population along the coast relied on fishing and pearling for their livelihood, whilst those in the hinterland relied on date plantations and camel herding. Through remarkable leadership and personal commitment, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan developed Abu Dhabi into an influential, fully modernised state. Upon Sheikh Zayed’s death in November 2004, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan became UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

2⃣DUBAI

Dubai, the second largest of the seven emirates, is ruled by the Al Maktoum family. It occupies an area of approximately 3,900 kilometres, which includes a small enclave called Hatta, situated close to Oman, amongst the Hajar Mountains. Dubai, the capital city, is located along the creek, a natural harbour, which traditionally provided the basis of the trading industry. Pearling and fishing were the main sources of income for the people of Dubai. Under the wise leadership of its rulers, Dubai’s focus on trade and industry transformed it into the leading trading port along the southern Gulf. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the current ruler of Dubai.

3⃣SHARJAH

Sharjah, which shares its southern border with Dubai, is ruled by the Al Qasimi family. It is approximately 2,600 square kilometres and is the only emirate to have coastlines on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. In the nineteenth century the town of Sharjah was the leading port in the lower Gulf. Produce from the interior of Oman, India and Persia arrived there. Sharjah’s salt mines meant that salt constituted an important part of its export business, along with pearls. In the 1930s when the pearling industry declined and trade decreased due to the creek silting up, Imperial Airways’ flying boats set up a staging post for flights en route to India, which benefited the residents of Sharjah. Today, under the leadership of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Sharjah is the cultural and educational centre of the UAE and takes pride in preserving the country’s cultural heritage as well as promoting Arab culture and traditions.

4⃣AJMAN

Ajman is the smallest emirate, comprising only 260 square kilometres. It is ruled by the Al Nuami family. Surrounded mostly by the emirate of Sharjah, Ajman also possesses the small enclaves of Manama and Musfut in the Hajar Mountains. Along the creek dhow building was the specialised trade. Fishing and date-trees provided the local population with their primary means of sustenance. Ajman benefited greatly from the union of the emirates, a fact that is reflected today in their stately buildings and infrastructure. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuami has been the ruler since 1981.

5⃣UMM AL QAIWAIN

Umm Al Qaiwain is ruled by the Al Mualla family. It is the second smallest emirate, with a total area of around 770 square kilometres. Positioned between the emirates of Sharjah and Ajman to the south and Ras Al Khaimah to the north, Umm Al Qaiwain has the smallest population. Fishing is the local population’s primary means of income. Date farming also plays a significant role in the economy. After the union of the emirates in 1971 Umm Al Qaiwain developed into a modern state, and continues to progress under its present ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla.

6⃣RAS AL KHAIMAH

Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly emirate, is ruled by another branch of the Al Qasimi family. It covers an area of 1,700 square kilometres. Thanks to the run-off water from the Hajar Mountains, Ras Al Khaimah has a unique abundance of flora, so it is no surprise that agriculture is important to the local economy. The emirate also benefits from its stone quarries, and fishing, which is plentiful in the rich waters of the Gulf. The city of Ras Al Khaimah, situated on an inlet, has a rich history. It was renowned for its prosperous port and for its exquisite pearls, which were famous as being the whitest and roundest available anywhere. Ras Al Khaimah’s current ruler is Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

7⃣FUJAIRAH

The only emirate without a coastline on the Arabian Gulf is Fujairah, which is ruled by the Al Sharqi family. Situated along the coast of the Gulf of Oman, Fujairah covers about 1,300 square kilometres. Unlike other emirates, where the desert forms a large part of the terrain, mountains and plains are its predominant features. Fujairah’s economy is based on fishing and agriculture. Like Ras Al Khaimah, the land in Fujairah is irrigated by rainwater from the Hajar Mountains, making it ideal for farming. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi is the present ruler.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, in Abu Dhabi, built between 1996-2007. It is the largest mosque in the UAE and was initiated by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to bring together cultural diversity, and both historic and modern values of art. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayyan’s final resting place is in the grounds of the mosque. As can be seen, it is an amazing place to shoot!

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           The Amazing Architecture of Sheikh Zayed  Mosque - Abu Dhabi                           by  Anushka Eranga , Beno Saradzic  and Julian John ©

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and is considered to be the key for worship in the country. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was initiated by the late president of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, the                      historical and modern values of architecture and art.

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لقد علمتنا الصحراء أن نصبر طويلاً حتى ينبت الخير
The desert environment has taught us to be patient until the land blossoms bestowing its bounties on us.
—  HH Zayed bin Sultan Al nahayyan (رحمه الله)

Sheikh Zayed Mosque | Photographer Julia Wimmerman | 500px

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, in Abu Dhabi, built between 1996-2007. It is the largest mosque in the UAE and was initiated by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to bring together cultural diversity, and both historic and modern values of art. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayyan’s final resting place is in the grounds of the mosque. As can be seen, it is an amazing place to shoot!