Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Mosque tours to take on special Ramadan significance

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ABU DHABI (August 20, 2008) – Guided tours of the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, are to take on special significance during

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ABU DHABI (August 20, 2008) – Guided tours of the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, are to take on special significance during the Holy Month of Ramadan, due to start on September 1.

The tours, organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), will be held at 10:00 a.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday during the Holy Month with trained guides on hand to answer queries on the significance and traditions of Ramadan.

“Tour guests – whether residents or visitors – will be able to gain a better understanding of Ramadan through the guides, and the mosque is a totally appropriate setting for this cultural dialogue,” said Nasser Al Reyami, director, Tourism Standards, ADTA.

Daily, hundreds of visitors from all corners of the globe have toured the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Mosque since the guided sessions were launched by the ADTA in February this year. The guided tours, mostly conducted by trained UAE nationals, have fast emerged as one of the country’s most popular cultural activities.

“The response has significantly surpassed our expectations and has demonstrated a real appetite for knowledge of UAE and Islamic traditions,” explained Al Reyami. “While the sheer architectural splendor of the mosque is one consideration which encourages visitors, many of the questions raised by those taking part are focused on the traditions of the UAE and of Muslim worship.

“There is no doubt that the tours are proving to be a cross-cultural knowledge forum. While the majority of visitors come from Western European countries, the geographic outreach of the visitor profile extends from Australia to America and many points in between, reflecting the diversity of the UAE.”

The mosque, a landmark which is clearly visible from main approach roads into Abu Dhabi city, is named in honor of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, a man affectionately known as ‘The Father of The Nation’ for his work as an architect of the UAE Federation.

“Visitors have been appreciative of not only the opportunity to visit this significant place of worship, but to participate in an enjoyable and valuable learning experience,” said Al Reyami. “The tours are a living embodiment of Sheikh Zayed’s legacy of promoting international co-operation and understanding.”

One of the world’s largest mosques, covering 22,500 square meters, the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque is an architectural statement which combines traditional and modern Islamic designs and construction techniques. Craftsmen from throughout the world were involved in its creation. Some key decorative features of the mosque include beautiful Isnik-inspired ceramic panels bearing selected verses from the Holy Quran and the 7,110 square meter, custom-designed carpet in the main prayer hall which is the world’s largest carpet. This carpet masterpiece was created by Iranian artist Ali Khalili and handwoven by 1,200 women in Mashhad, northern Iran. The largest of the mosque’s seven chandeliers hangs from the main dome of the main prayer hall and was made in Germany using over a million Swarovski crystals.

“The mosque tours are proving their worth as a bridge to greater universal understanding, and we believe that the tours in Ramadan will take on added appeal as an avenue of comprehending the most significant month in Islam,” added Reyami.

Visitors to the mosque are asked to dress appropriately and respect the building as a place of worship. The tours take between 60-90 minutes and those wishing to attend can register at: [email protected] . For further information on the tour please visit .

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.