Updated: Mar 8
For the last week I've been in the United Arab Emirates, my first time to visit the Middle East, and was taken to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi - what a treat! Interestingly, the Grand Mosque has a Southsea (Hampshire) connection in that a local artist called Kevin Dean was one of the artists from around the world who created the stunning floral design in the structure's white marble, to be seen throughout the mosque. The visual impact of the coloured flowers against the expanse of white marble is magnificent, particularly in this desert heat. I was in love.
Moorish in architectural style that I was able to recognize from the Moors influence in Southern Spain where I used to live, the mosque can hold 41,000 people, which will give you an idea of its size.
Whatever angle you look at the building from, it is splendid in all its parts. Definitely worth a visit.
@kevinjdeano is on Instagram | W www.kevindean.co.uk/
Also of interest: a Louvre-branded, dome-shaped museum is due to open in Abu Dhabi in November 2017, with artworks on loan from France's top museums. The architect is Jean Nouvel from France. We passed by in our car and it was explained that the dome is supported by only four piers hidden within the museum buildings, to give the impression it is floating and yes, it looked awesome. They don't do things by halves in the Emirates and the UAE's oil reserves ensure that what was once a sleepy little port on the Arabian peninsula will continue to be one of the epicentres of the global tourism industry.