Sunset at Sheikh Zayed Mosque
By: Nikita Jeswani, Smith School MBA Candidate
January 9, 2018
Students had the morning to themselves and opted to visit Emirates palace, the beach for sunbathing or watersports, or the Abu Dhabi Louvre museum. After a late checkout, we headed to Mubadala, an investment and development company supporting the diversification of the UAE by investing in key social infrastructure and creating globally integrated industry sectors in Abu Dhabi.
Before departing Abu Dhabi, we visited the stunning Sheikh Zayed mosque. Its impressive architecture features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers, and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. PT-DC student Meredith Gould shared her experience: “One of my favorite parts of visiting was the time of day that we went. Watching the sunset was really beautiful, and hearing the call to prayer made it feel like we were a part of the tradition as opposed to just visitors.”
Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed’s oldest of 19 sons from 6 different wives, was chosen by Sheikh Zayed and the heads of the 7 Emirates under a consensus-based process not unlike an election. While succession by the eldest son is common practice in many monarchies, it is not a requirement in the UAE. Any one of Sheikh Zayed’s sons or brothers could have been chosen. Mysteriously, Sheikh Khalifa has not been seen in public in the past 4 years.