Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre
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More than 67 million visitors have visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque since its opening.

21 Dec 2023

Over the course of 16 years, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque welcomed over 67 million visitors, establishing itself as a prominent global destination. This remarkable achievement is evident through the implementation of various initiatives, programs, and cultural and religious series, all of which showcase the mosque's pivotal role in presenting a positive image of Islam. Moreover, the mosque has solidified its position as a hub for promoting tolerance, coexistence, and the rich cultural, Islamic, Arab, and local heritage. Its unique appeal as a tourist attraction has also been greatly enhanced.

Dr. Youssef Al Obaidli, the Director-General of the Centre, emphasized the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's exceptional standing on a global scale. This achievement is attributed to the unwavering support and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court. This support has propelled the Centre to become a benchmark in the region, playing a significant role in fostering coexistence, cultural exchange, and the dissemination of peace through innovative initiatives, diverse activities, educational programs, exhibitions, and events. Consequently, this grand structure has transformed into a Centre for learning and discovery and a national and religious landmark that captivates tourists with its awe-inspiring Islamic architecture. It truly embodies the humanitarian legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It attracts millions of people from diverse cultures who seek to understand its civilizational message and appreciate the beauty of its Islamic architecture. As the Centre celebrates its 16th anniversary, it has launched several groundbreaking initiatives, visual series, and services, further solidifying its position as a leading cultural platform. These endeavors reflect the Centre’s commitment to continuous growth and its dedication to providing enriching experiences for visitors from around the world.

 

More than 200 recorded episodes of 11 cultural series promoting noble values in society.

The Centre has produced over 200 recorded episodes across 11 cultural series, all aiming to promote noble values within society. Currently, it is diligently working on a new religious cultural series called” Wamda Fiqhiya”. This collection of episodes revolves around religious and jurisprudential topics, providing individuals with the knowledge they need to navigate various daily practices. 

Furthermore, it launched “Kursi Al Jami’”, a religious and cultural series that sheds light on important religious topics such as prayer times, the meaning behind the call to prayer, and the interpretation of select verses from the Holy Quran. These two new cultural and religious series reaffirm the mosque's role as a place of worship and highlight its responsibility towards society. The content is presented simply and straightforwardly, ensuring that it is both unique and informative. 

To reach a wider audience, the Centre will be publishing the episodes of these two new series on its various social media and other media platforms. By doing so, it hopes to strengthen its role in raising societal awareness through its cultural, religious, and community awareness series. These series consist of short episodes inspired by the teachings of Islam, the richness of Islamic civilization, and the authentic customs and traditions of the Emirati people. 

In addition to the Kursi Al Jami’ series and the Wamda Fiqhiya series, the Center has also launched several other series, including “Gherase Al Qiyam”, “Manuscripts”, “Architecture and Arts”, “Hijri Calendar”, “Dhikir from the Mosque”, “Menbar  Al Jami’”, “Rare Books”, “Diert Al-Durur”, and “Beautiful Names of Allah”. This extensive collection enabled the Center to broadcast more than 200 recorded episodes to date. 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center is committed to providing valuable content that educates and inspires individuals to embrace noble values. Through its work, it strives to positively impact society, fostering a deeper understanding of the Islamic faith. 

Launching the (Sura) Evening Cultural Tours Initiative in the vicinity of the mosque

In celebration of the sixteenth anniversary of the mosque's inauguration, the Centre is thrilled to offer an extraordinary experience – the “ Sura” evening cultural tours in the vicinity of the mosque. These tours are available to visitors throughout the night, allowing the mosque to be accessible 24 hours a day. The primary objective of the Centre is to provide an opportunity for visitors to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the country to visit the mosque during their limited waiting time for transit flights. The Centre has made it convenient to book these tours and request to join them through its website.

The choice of the name "Sura" reflects the Centre's commitment to reviving Arab and Islamic cultural heritage by embracing the richness of the Arabic language and its profound meanings. "Sura" signifies a nocturnal journey, perfectly capturing the essence of the tours taking place in the mosque's vicinity during the night.

Participants of these tours will have the privilege of discovering new facets of the mosque that were previously unseen, such as periodic maintenance and exceptional cleaning work. Moreover, they will be able to immerse themselves in the serene and tranquil atmosphere that envelops the mosque during the night.

A qualitative and enriching addition to the tourism scene in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre has made a significant and enriching contribution to the tourism industry in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. As part of this effort, the Centre has unveiled the Bari Al Jami’ mural, which serves as a testament to its role in enhancing the tourism movement in Abu Dhabi. This mural reflects the mosque's global recognition as a prominent tourist destination.

The mural's name, Bari Al Jami’, draws inspiration from the Emirati identity and its local significance. It refers to the towers historically constructed at the entrances of cities, serving as their gates. One such tower, Burj Al Muqtaa, can be found on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city. The mural also symbolizes the role of these towers in overseeing various parts of the city due to their impressive height.

The Bari Al Jami’ mural visually represents Abu Dhabi's distinctive features, including its rich cultural heritage and popular tourist attractions. It also provides essential information about the main sites visitors can explore during their stay in the Emirate. By including photographs and directions from the mosque, the mural aims to facilitate visitors' exploration of the Emirate's key landmarks.

Moreover, the mural incorporates real-time statistics continuously updated and displayed as visitors enter. These statistics showcase the total number of visitors to the mosque since its opening, as well as the number of visitors from different continents. Additionally, the mural highlights the top ten countries from each continent that have visited the mosque, accompanied by photographs of notable visits from those countries.

 

Wide global media attention 

The 16th anniversary of the mosque's opening garners widespread global media attention and celebration. To showcase the immense interest it has received from media outlets worldwide, the Centre released a video clip across its various social media platforms. This captivating clip features the most significant media reports discussing the mosque's status as a pioneering Islamic and cultural landmark, spanning multiple languages.

The mosque's esteemed reputation has transformed it into a leading cultural platform and an architectural marvel, attracting both local and international media attention. Since its inauguration, the mosque has received over 1100 requests for media coverage. Prominent local entities such as Abu Dhabi TV, Dubai Channel, Sama Dubai, Majid Channel, Al Ittihad Newspaper, Al Khaleej Newspaper, Al Bayan Newspaper, Fursan El Emirate Network, Abu Dhabi News Network, 24 News Website, The National Newspaper, Gulf News, and Gulf Times have all recognized the mosque's significance and featured it prominently in their coverage.

Furthermore, esteemed international media outlets like CNN, ABC, CNBC, Russia Today, Belgian National Television, German Television, Australian Channel Seven, Egyptian Television, Oxford University, Brazilian channels, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Al Youm Al Sabaa Egyptian Newspaper, and Al Nahar Lebanese Newspaper have also sought to convey the grand mosque's message and vision, aiming to spread noble human values.

The grand mosque's enduring appeal and global recognition serve as a testament to its cultural and religious significance. Its ability to captivate audiences from diverse backgrounds and languages underscores its universal appeal. As the mosque continues to inspire and foster understanding, it remains a symbol of unity and a beacon of hope for people worldwide.

 

A destination for millions of visitors from different cultures.

The Centre has firmly established the mosque's status as a truly unique global tourist destination, attracting over 67.3 million visitors from diverse cultures worldwide since its inception. These visitors have flocked to its premises, drawn by the principles of tolerance and coexistence that epitomize the country's vision and showcase its position as a leading tourism hotspot in the state and the emirate. Notably, this esteemed group includes numerous heads of state and high-level delegations from across the globe, who have been treated to exceptional experiences that exemplify the mosque's leadership and set a benchmark for the region.

These impressive numbers underscore the mosque's remarkable global achievements, solidifying its reputation as one of the most prominent and sought-after tourist attractions worldwide. This recognition is further reinforced by the esteemed travel and tourism website TripAdvisor, which has ranked the mosque as the top tourist attraction in the Middle East, fourth globally among the top 25 tourist attractions, and ninth globally among the top 25 landmarks offering cultural and historical tours in its evaluation for the year 2022.

Such accolades are a testament to the mosque's enduring appeal and ability to captivate visitors from all corners of the globe. With its rich cultural heritage and awe-inspiring architecture, the mosque continues to enchant and inspire travelers, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts and minds.

As a beacon of religious and cultural significance, the mosque symbolizes unity and harmony, welcoming individuals from all walks of life to experience its grandeur and serenity. Its status as a global tourist destination not only showcases the emirate's commitment to promoting tourism but also highlights its dedication to fostering understanding and appreciation among different cultures.

Programs and Initiatives

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center has undertaken numerous initiatives over the years, targeting diverse segments of society and engaging the youth through innovative means. These endeavors form an integral part of the Center's mission to establish the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as a pioneering global institution, promoting the values of tolerance in Islamic culture, bridging civilizations, and fostering noble values in all aspects of society. Furthermore, the Center actively contributes to the moral education of the youth and future generations.

Since its inception, the Mosque has set itself apart from other places of worship worldwide. Its significance extends beyond religious practices, encompassing a cultural and intellectual dimension. This is evident in the vast array of programs, activities, and initiatives it offers, which showcase the Islamic, Arab, and local cultural heritage. The Center has successfully implemented several projects that enhance its cultural and intellectual role, including the Hijri Calendar Project and the Spaces of Light Photography Award. Additionally, it has curated various exhibitions, such as Al-Andalus: History and Civilization, Hajj: A Journey in Memory, and Islamic Coins: History Revealed.  Throughout its 16-year existence, the Centre has celebrated the treasures of Islamic architecture and arts, enriching its library with twenty-one distinguished publications that delve into Islamic culture and arts. Notable titles include Spaces of Light, Houses of God, and Islamic Garden Art. Moreover, the center has published specialized catalogs for previous exhibitions it has hosted.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre is a beacon of cultural and intellectual enlightenment. Through its multifaceted initiatives, it strives to foster understanding, appreciation, and preservation of Islamic heritage while nurturing the moral compass of the youth and future generations. The Centre's commitment to excellence is evident in its extensive library collection and the successful execution of captivating exhibitions. By embracing its role as a global institution, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center continues to make significant contributions to the promotion of Islamic culture and the bridging of civilizations.

An Incubator for Tolerance

In recent years, the mosque has established itself as a sanctuary for the cherished human values of tolerance and coexistence. It has achieved this by organizing exceptional programs that foster meaningful connections and dialogue. One of the most notable events was the historic meeting between His Eminence, the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Francis, the revered leader of the Catholic Church. This momentous gathering took place during the Human Fraternity Meeting, and it exemplified the mosque's commitment to promoting harmony among diverse communities.

Moreover, the mosque has fostered religious tolerance, hosting a dialogue session attended by King Charles and revered scholars and religious figures from various faiths that coexist peacefully in the UAE. This session served as a testament to the mosque's dedication to fostering understanding and respect among different religious traditions.

Not only has the mosque made its mark locally, but it has also actively participated on the global stage. It played a significant role in the first ministerial meeting in Washington, which aimed to promote religious freedom. Additionally, the mosque's involvement in the sixth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Astana further solidified its commitment to global cooperation and understanding.

In the digital realm, the mosque has continued to embody its role as a beacon of tolerance. It participated in a virtual global religious discussion hosted by the UAE embassy in the United States, as well as the fourth virtual tolerance forum organized by the Sheikh Zayed House for Islamic Culture. These engagements, conducted through social media platforms, highlighted the UAE's dedication to tolerance and peace.

To expand its reach and foster connections with people worldwide, the mosque has showcased its models and publications across the globe, aiming to bridge cultural gaps and elevate the UAE’s global reputation.