Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the third largest mosque in the world - after the ones in Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia. It is named after the founder and first President of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Based on his vision, the mosque was built with the rise of 11 metres above sea level, and 9.5 metres above the street level so that it is clearly visible from all directions. It is built as a monument to consolidate Islamic culture and a prominent centre for Islamic sciences. The construction of AED 2.5 billion-project began in the late 1996. Approximately 38 contracting companies and about 3,500 workers helped realising the complex over a period of almost 12 years. The main dome is the largest mosque dome in the world and has a capacity of 41,000 people. The mosque features 82 domes of Moroccan white marble. The main prayer hall has the world's largest chandelier as well as the world's largest hand-knotted carpet made in Iran.