Day: August 26, 2007

Majestic mosque gets finishing touches

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Majestic mosque gets finishing touches By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter/GULF NEWS Published: August 18, 2007, 00:05

Abu Dhabi: More than 1,500 workers, supervisors, designers and engineers are working feverishly to put the final touches on Shaikh Zayed Mosque, which can accommodate about 40,000 worshippers.

The mosque is scheduled to open at the end of Ramadan for Eid prayers and its main prayer hall can accommodate about 5,000 worshippers, said project manager Khowla Salem Al Sulaimani.

The striking domes of the mosque are reportedly the largest ever built on any mosque.

“Two international Islamic organisations have confirmed it is the third largest in the world,” said Khowla, but notes that its main striking features are its domes, the biggest among any mosque in the world.

The General Secretariat Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) based in Saudi Arabia, and the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture in Turkey have confirmed the 22,412 square metre mosque to be the third-largest in the world.

Even before its completion, the Shaikh Zayed Mosque, which cost about Dh2.1 billion, has become famous around the world. A huge chandelier is installed in the main prayer hall. An Iranian carpet will also be placed in the main prayer hall and is the largest hand-woven carpet in the world.

The carpet was woven by about 1,200 Iranian women. The carpet which costs Dh30 million was delivered to Abu Dhabi last week.

The 16.5 metre chandelier was imported from Germany. The seven chandeliers in the mosque cost about Dh30 million.

The main dome which is 87 metres high with a diameter of 32.8 metres, is the largest in the world. While the other 81 domes are of traditional Moroccan design.

Distinct features

The main door of the mosque is made completely of glass and is 12.2 metres high. The 7 metres wide door weighs about 2.2 tonnes and has beautiful floral designs.

The prayer halls are decorated with Italian white marble and are inlaid with floral designs. Various designs are used for different parts of the mosque.

The courtyard is decorated with white marble from Greece, while its 1,048 columns are being decorated by workers from India, points out Khowla, who is proud to be working on a world famous project.

The outside walls of the Shaikh Zayed Mosque are of traditional Turkish design. Worshippers entering the mosque will get a fantastic view of the entire structure, reflected in the waters surrounding it.

Artificial lakes laden with dark tiles surround the mosque.

The four minarets of the Shaikh Zayed Mosque reach a towering height of 107 metres and can be seen from far off.

“The whole structure is on an elevated position as the foundation has been laid 9.5 metres above ground level,” said the project manager.

Municipal Affairs Department of the Abu Dhabi Municipality is supervising the finishing touches on the Shaikh Zayed Mosque, one of the ten largest mosques in the world.

Director of the Shaikh Zayed mosque project Khowla Al Sulaimani said that the main prayer hall of the mosque is expected to be opened during the final days of the month of Ramadan. The carpet to be spread in the prayer hall arrived yesterday from Iran.

Different colours
The 5,000 square metre carpet is the largest of its kind in the world and is handmade with 35 tonnes of wool and cotton.
Public relations director at the Municipal Affairs Department Mubarak Saif Al Mazroui said that the Shaikh Zayed Mosque is a magnificent addition to Islamic architectural splendour, and will become a landmark in the UAE and the region as a whole.

The main prayer hall under three large domes can accommodate over forty thousand worshippers.

The main prayer hall under three large domes can accommodate over forty thousand worshippers.

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Car Roll Over’ simulator will increase seat belt awareness

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Car Roll Over’ simulator will increase seat belt awareness
By Joy Sengupta /KHALEEJ TIMES 26 August 2007

DUBAI — The Emirates Driving Institute has introduced the ‘Car Roll Over’ simulator to make drivers realise the importance of using seat belt as a safety measure.
The ‘Car Roll Over’ gives the students an actual feeling and the body movements of the driver when his car turns topsy turvy in an accident, Muhammed Arif, the Advance Driving Instructor and First Lecturer of the Institute, said yesterday.

“The apparatus would also make the people realise the fact that people inside the car have got more chances of survival if they have fastened their seats belts as it holds them tight to the seat in the case of an accident resulting in the car roll over,” he said.

“There are many organsations who have been talking about the importance of seat belts since a long time now. Fines have also been imposed on the violators. But still, there are people who don’t care. A majority of them don’t understand the importance of seat belts. We realised that a practical knowledge about how the belt works would be helpful,” he said. The system had been imported from Volvo, a popular commercial transport solutions based in Sweden.

“This is a whole car. We ask the person to sit in it and then fasten the seat belt. Then we revolve the car upside down. One can easily feel the pressure on the back and the neck when the car is turning,” Arif said.

“But then if one is fastened, the belt does not allow the person to crash out through the windscreen or get thrown in some other corner of the car. This considerably reduces the risk. Also, the air bag coming out from the front after the crash is beneficial only if you are fastened. This apparatus would indeed make people realise the importance of seat belts,” he added.

The official stated that another apparatus, called the ‘Seat Belt Convensor’ was also useful in making people aware. “In this, we try to make people know the kind of impact the car has when it hits something. It is again the seatbelt which does not let the person move out of the seat. Otherwise he can crash out of the car through the windscreen,” pointed Arif.

The official said that soon they would be opening these machines for the common people. “Anyone would be free to come down to the centre and experience this. People should know about the importance of seat belts. Seat belts are life savers,” he emphasised.