Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Arabic: مسجد الشيخ زايد) in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who is also buried there. The mosque was officially opened in the Islamic month of Ramadan in 2007.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority announced that tours of the mosques will be given to both Muslims and non-Muslims beginning in mid-March 2008 in order to promote cultural and religious understanding.
The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca being direct influences. The dome layout and floorplan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by both Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Mughal and Moorish architecture.
The Mosque is large enough to accommodate 40,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall can accommodate up to 9,000 worshippers. Two rooms next to the main prayer hall, with a 1,500-capacity each, are for the exclusive use of women.
There are four minarets on the four corners of the mosque which rise about 115 m (377 ft) in height. There are 57 domes covering the outside yard and the main building as well. The domes are decorated with white marble and the interior decoration is made of marble. The courtyard is paved with floral marble designs and measures about 17,000 m2 (180,000 sq ft).
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque made some world records: