The architecture of the state mosques of the Arabian Gulf in the 20th century is an overlooked subject. Their various styles of Islamic architecture, lavish details, luxurious decoration and enormous scale are all intended to convey a message of elegance and power. While some research has been carried out on the Gulf States as part of modern urban development in general, little has been done on State Mosque architecture in particular, and few have been studied or even published in detail. Nevertheless, this region underwent more major changes in its contemporary mosque architecture from its traditional architecture than any of the surrounding Arab States. Although the architectural style of these state mosques varied, they all shared a single goal, the regeneration of traditional Islamic forms combined with a tendency toward a new perspective of contemporary mosque architecture that stressed the development of the mosques’ forms, styles and their place in an urban setting, which was unlike those of neighboring Arab states. Hence, the aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive study of the styles, techniques, decoration, design and messages of state mosque architecture in the Arabian Gulf. It will be compared with Islamic architecture of the medieval and early modern period. This research will be the first in-depth study of the state mosques of the Arabian Gulf.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Islamic Art and Architecture

First Advisor

O'Kane, Bernard

Committee Member 1

Mostafa, Magda

Committee Member 2

Bakhoum, Dina

Document Type



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