The main site for worship in the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a recent addition to the city. Completed in 2007, the mosque is the largest in the country and the culmination of late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision to unite the diverse world of Islam.
Over 40,000 worshippers fit inside this massive complex of prayer halls. Four minarets tower at each corner of the internationally inspired building. Visitors are sure to marvel at its reflecting pools, mother-of-pearl-inlaid columns, traditional calligraphy displays, and the main prayer hall’s massive Iranian carpet. The mosque is most active during gatherings and Eid prayers, but also hosts a number of educational and cultural visitor programs.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in central Abu Dhabi, near the banks of the Khor Al-Maqta river. It’s impressive columned façade is likely to be the first impression visitors have of Abu Dhabi Island as they cross the bridge into the city. Abu Dhabi is more navigable by car or taxi than by public transit, but there are bus routes available.
Influences in the architecture include Moorish, Mughal, and Persian elements. Its materials come from across the globe including resources from China, India, Iran, Italy, Germany, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.