Abu Dhabi Mosque
One of the more unusual contracts LED Synergy has completed recently was to develop the LED displays and entire Salaat-Time based content system used in each of the nine elaborate and ornate prayer clocks located around the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
One of the largest and most elaborately constructed and decorated Mosques in the world, LED Synergyâ€™s ability to programme the prayer board microcontroller system with all the information that would be displayed across the entire religious year on a rolling cycle and its attention to detail were critical to it being awarded the contract.
â€œWhile the displays were a challenge in themselves, the programming of the control system was far more critical and where our expertise and previous experience came to the fore,â€ stated Jeremy Harwood at LED Synergy. â€œThe Mullahâ€™s responsible for this Mosque could have gone to any LED solution supplier around the world but chose to come to us because of our reputation and the fact that we clearly understood the complexities of what they wanted. More importantly we could deliver and guarantee a robust solution that met their needs. While price was still important they had to be 110% sure that our solution would consistently perform and without any glitches.â€
Each of the nine clocks, constructed in high quality marble with fine gold inlay work, comprise eight high definition single colour LED panels and a central analogue clock, to provide the exact details of each of the six prayer times each day in both Arabic and English text. The prayer board microcontroller stores more than a year's worth of Salaat times and automatically updates itself using its internal clock, but can also be easily managed using either an Excel spreadsheet or an infra-red keyboard.
The entire Muslim annual calendar and the constantly varying Salaat based prayer times each day had to individually be programmed into the system in advance and the clocks now automatically display the exact information for each day. Bitmap images for the Arabic text were used to avoid scripting problems, particularly as the orientation of Arabic text is completely the reverse of western characters.
Following the contract award and once the development of the LED modules was underway; two senior Mullahs came over to the UK, spending a number of days working closely with LED Synergy. This was to ensure that every single entry and piece of information to be displayed on the clocks in both Arabic and English was correct and accurately programmed into the system. When the programming was completed all nine systems were then assembled and thoroughly tested in the UK before being packed and shipped to Abu Dhabi and subsequently installed in the Mosque.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque clocks were delivered and installed in 2010 and have performed without flaw ever since; ensuring thousands of worshipers each day know exactly when and which prayers are taking place. Now looking for other similar projects LED Synergy can also deliver specialised software solutions that accurately calculate prayer times, using a database of over 1200 cities in 216 countries, and five different Islamic conventions, and new locations can easily be added.
One the worldâ€™s largest mosques and an architectural work of art, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has a capacity for an astonishing 41,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world's largest hand knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the worldâ€™s largest chandeliers â€“10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing twelve tonnes. The mosque's first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site.