Sheikh Zayed Mosque


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Sheikh Zayed Mosque by night is worth seeing in Abu Dhabi

We always feel blessed while driving past the immaculate white Sheikh Zayed Mosque at daytime. But what we marvel at even more is the changing colors of the Mosque at night that evolve day after day from white to pale blue and then dark blue.

Have you ever wondered why and how the colors were changing? Here is a clue : MOON.

Indeed, the exterior lighting system completed in 2010 has been designed to reflect the different phases of the moon, which was the first of its kind in the world. At night, the appearance of the building changes throughout the moon’s cycle and can either be bathed in a cold white light during the full moon to the darkest blue at mid cycle.

The designers thought and learnt a lot about the projection, intensity and unique texture they wanted to give and came up with this connection to the lunar cycle and outstanding idea of moving clouds across the moon, streaming from a West to East direction from Mecca.

This is why the illumination is white on a beautiful full moon night. There are also the seven subtle color shifts every second evening from white to the deep blue that signifies no moon on the fourteenth evening in the lunar cycle. The illumination also reverses all the way back to white during the last 14 days as the new moon slowly transforms to a full moon.

As the moon waxes and wanes, the building breathes with the moon ‘ without us perceiving the building color changing from a color to the next.

This unique lighting system designed by Speirs and Major Associates has won several awards.

If you are interested in discovering more about this project, check this video below.

© Photo: Speirs+Major,, captures of the video

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