Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque
The Grand Mosque, as it is popularly known, is a visual delight and an impressive landmark of Abu Dhabi. It is arguably the third largest mosque in the world. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, and whose graveyard is in the same mosque. The Mosque was officially opened in the month of Ramadan in 2007. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter mosques in the United Arab Emirates but this mosque is an exception. Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority now permits visits to the mosque for both Muslims and non-Muslims so as to prop up cultural and religious perception.
Located between Mussafah Bridge and Maqta Bridge in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Mosque can hold 40,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall can accommodate up to 9,000 worshippers. There are two capacious rooms next to the main prayer hall which are exclusively for women.
The four towering minarets, each of about 115 meters in height, add to the grandiose look of the mosque. The numerous domes, 57 in number, and the pietra-dura on the columns around the courtyard, are proof of the architectural detail that has gone into making this mosque an exotic and visual delight. The courtyard is cemented with flower-patterned marble drawings and covers about 17,000 square meters. Islamic art is evident all throughout the mosque. The entire mosque is made in white marble.