The Courtyard

The Sahan (courtyard) is an open space ,usually square or rectangular in shape that is often found in larger ‘Grand’ mosque structures and used by worshippers during significant Islamic prayers and large gatherings.

The Sahan of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is mainly used during official Eid Al Fitr(The Feast of Breakfast) and Eid Al Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice) prayers and for Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers during the Holy Month of Ramadan. It spans an area of 17,400 square meters and accommodates up to 31,000 worshippers when full.

More than 30 types of marble were used in the design of the Sahan, including Italian, Indian, Greek, and Chinese. Whereas more than 9 million mosaic pieces clad the designs of 3825 panels measuring 2.1 meters by 2.1 meters, of which 2,385 panels were designed with white marble and 1440 panels with colored marble.

The intricate flower mosaics decorating the courtyard was designed by the British artist Kevin Dean, who embraced Sheikh Zayed’s passionate vision to create a mosque that unites the world, as he chose flowers from the Middle East, such as Tulips, Lilys, and Irises. As inlays of colored marble form exuberant floral patterns that curl and twist gracefully from the edges towards the center adorn the courtyard. While the rest of the Sahan was inlaid with thousands of small pieces of white marble.

The courtyard of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque may well be the largest marble mosaic artwork in the world.