The Mosque and the Founder
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque takes its name from the late founder of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was born in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1918 at Qasr al-Hosn and passed away in 2004.
In 1946, he was appointed as the representative of the Emirate's Ruler in the Eastern Region.
In August 1966, Sheikh Zayed assumed the position of Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi beginning a new era of progress and renaissance on a large scale in various areas of development. With his ability to look into the future and outstanding leadership qualities, the founding father realized the dream of uniting the seven emirates under the one flag of the United Arab Emirates on December 2, 1971.
The late founder dreamed of building a mosque that mirrors the moderation of Islam. This dream became a reality with the construction of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world and a prominent landmark in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi.
The first considerations to build the Mosque began in the late 1980s, and construction began on November 5, 1996. The maximum capacity is approximately 50,000 people. The inner prayer halls were initially opened for worship of Eid Al Adha in 2007 and have remained so since then.
Its design and construction 'unite the world,' using artisans, craftsmen, and materials from many countries, including Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, China, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Greece, and of course, the United Arab Emirates. More than 3,000 workers and 38 contracting companies participated in the Mosque construction! Natural materials were used in its construction, including marble, stone, gold, semi-precious stones, crystals, and ceramics.
This grand edifice's captivating design and architecture vividly embody the founding fathers' forward-looking vision for the Mosque to be a pioneering religious and cultural edifice, a global destination, a meeting place for cultures, and a platform that promotes notions of tolerance and cross-cultural communication; deeply rooted within the UAE society.
A vision also pursued by our leadership and embodied through the Mosque's position as a leading attraction for visitors from all over the world, firmly on the world tourist map.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque attracts millions of visitors from all walks of life who blend in harmony within a framework of noble values emanating from the tolerant nature of the Islamic religion, which are an essential part of the principles and values ingrained in Emirati society.
Through offering a system of services and programs that cater to the needs of a broad segment of worshippers and visitors, the Mosque has secured its position among the world's top three popular attractions for years in a row, according to TripAdvisor's 'Travellers Choice Awards. Several award forums also recognized its accomplishments.
Through the day ,certified Quran reciters rotate, taking turns to recite the Qur'an 24/7 at the mausoleum of the late founder, with whom the UAE people shared a strong bond and called " father" and held a special place in their hearts.
With his deep insight and wise leadership approach, he led the renaissance of the UAE that today embraces more than two hundred nationalities from different cultures who live in harmony and peace.
The name Zayed will continue to live on in our hearts, and his teachings will be an inspiration for the generations to come, and he will continue to be our guiding light.