Nothing is impossible and considered that the most gracious achievements begin from the heart. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was opened for worship in 2007; eleven years after construction commenced and the Late Sheikh Zayed laid its foundation stone in 1996. It was completed under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, may God protect him, and his brother His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, under the supervision of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan initiated this remarkable landmark, which features four minarets and 82 domes to represent different Islamic styles, in support of noble Islamic culture values and to express its genuine religious concepts and values. Because the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center greatly values artistic appreciation and cultural and intellectual understanding, the Spaces of Light Photography Competition was instigated under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to celebrate the aesthetic panorama and visual culture of this great architectural landmark.
This unique photography competition was first launched in October 2010 and represents an opportunity both for artists to explore visually the distinct features of Islamic architecture to be found in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and to highlight its unique and diversified artistic beauty as a recognized masterpiece of contemporary Islamic architecture. Since its launch, Spaces of Light has attracted a vast audience from amongst those who wish to know more about the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque both as one of the key cultural tourism destinations in the UAE, and as an Islamic landmark that has a vital religious and spiritual value. Since its inauguration, the competition has attracted a large number of photography professionals and amateurs from different countries.
This confirms the status of Spaces of Light as an internationally-recognized cultural initiative, engaging a wide audience across cultures and borders. Spaces of Light has contributed to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center’s efforts to present the Mosque as a human, cultural and spiritual space that combines architectural inspiration from the Islamic civilizations of the past with modern practices and progressive technology. In this way, the Grand Mosque has become a destination for architectural art lovers and an expression of the true message of interaction, tolerance and dialogue between different cultures. It is the message of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The art of photography is now considered the primary tool for documentation in today’s world and it therefore takes its position as the best means of capturing memories for coming generations.