Another astonishing feature of the mosque is the over 5,625 m2 large carpet in the main prayer hall. It has been hand-knotted by about 1,300 Iranian craftsmen out of 35 tons of wool and 12 tons of cotton. With a total of 2,268,00 knots, the carpet is the largest in the world. Its estimated value is about 30 million.
Coloured with 25 natural colours, the green colour is predominant as it was the favourite colour of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Included into the carpet are horizontal lines which are slightly raised over the primary carpet-height. These are for the worshipper’s alignment. The effect of the special knotting-technique is that the lines are not visible from a distance, but only for the worshippers.
In August 2007 the Iranian masterpiece was dissected and brought to Abu Dhabi, where it was fixed together again in the mosque.
Continue our journey to Heritage Village Traditional aspects of the desert way of life, including a campfire with coffee pots, a goats’ hair tent, and a falaj irrigation system, are attractively displayed in the open museum. There are workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills, such as metal work and pottery, while women sit weaving and spinning. The craftsmen are happy to share their skills, and may occasionally give you the chance to try them out. The little spice shop is a treat – you can get a range of dried herbs, handmade soap and plenty of chatter.
Visit the date market on the first alley that is dedicated to dried fruits and the different varieties of dates from across the Middle East. There are more than 10 stores with trays full of dates outside and inside the shops and shopkeepers encourage you to sample them as you walk along.