x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sheikh Zayed Mosque documentary is first for new channel

The Debut local production by an Arabic language channel, launched by National Geographic Abu Dhabi to bring educational programmes to Middle East, will air this week.

The late Sheikh Zayed inspects the plan of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque with his sons Sheikh Hamdan, left, and Sheikh Sultan.
The late Sheikh Zayed inspects the plan of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque with his sons Sheikh Hamdan, left, and Sheikh Sultan.

ABU DHABI // A one-hour exploration of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque will be the first locally produced documentary for National Geographic Abu Dhabi, an Arabic language channel which began airing educational programmes for the Middle East nine months ago. The film will air on Friday at 9pm on the National Geographic Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi al Emarat channels. It will go on wide release in April, airing on 31 National Geographic channels worldwide and in 34 different languages. The goal from the beginning has been to bring interesting programming to Middle East viewers in a smart and creative way. "The viewer is in control," said Karim Sarkis, the executive director for broadcast at Abu Dhabi Media Company, the publisher of The National. "That's why we aim to be innovative in what we broadcast."

The documentary was directed by the award-winning Australian Peter Lamb, who spent three years researching and producing the film. The documentary covers the process of building the mosque, from its groundbreaking 12 years ago to the finishing touches, engraved marble interiors and the largest chandelier in the world. It also sheds light on the artistic detail inside the mosque.

"The director believed that the vision behind the building is more magnificent than the building itself," said Dr Ali bin Tamim. the director of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre. "It's the combination of originality, depth and spirituality with Sheikh Zayed's dream of having a national symbol that the UAE is proud of." The documentary is part of an architectural series produced by National Geographic Abu Dhabi. "National Geographic Abu Dhabi brings the world to Abu Dhabi, and now through the documentary, we take Abu Dhabi to the world," said Mr Sarkis.

newsdesk@thenational.ae