Women pose for a “selfie” photograph as they stand in the courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.AFP
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque received 459,126 worshippers and visitors during the Holy Month of Ramadan and the Eid Al Fitr holidays.
The worshippers who flocked to the mosque throughout the days and nights of Ramadan to pray and reflect reached 219,378, of which 80,782 attended the Isha and Tarawih prayer, and 100,996 attended the Tahajjud prayer. On the 27th night of Ramadan, the mosque witnessed a large turnout of worshippers, reaching 35,448 worshippers.
It also continued to receive visitors from all cultures and faiths worldwide throughout Ramadan, and that number reached 149,425. In contrast, the total number of tours offered at the mosque reached 151 and were attended by 1,533 visitors. On the other hand, the tour operator’s reservations reached 1,866 reservations, including 23,683 visitors, and official delegations’ reservations reached 43, including 493 visitors.
During the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the total number of visitors to the mosque reached 90,323, including 32,085 worshippers and 58,238 visitors who enjoyed the exceptional and rich experience provided by the centre at the mosque to all cultures and age groups in the community.
To receive worshippers and visitors at the mosque throughout the Holy Month, the centre implemented a well-formulated strategic plan to ensure the readiness of all services and field preparations. It formed several committees and task forces from the centre’s staff who worked around the clock.
The Iftar meals distribution project vividly reflected the centre’s message during Ramadan. The project was implemented in cooperation with Erth Abu Dhabi Hotel – the strategic partner of the centre over the years. The project involved preparing and distributing 300,000 Iftar meals throughout the month, at a rate of 30,000 balanced Iftar meals per day, prepared by a team of more than 425 people.
They were distributed in direct coordination with the specialised economic zones “Zonescorp” to the recipients of various cultures embodying the values of giving and benevolence instilled by the late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, within the UAE society.
The “Mohammed bin Zayed Council” Ramadan lectures were one of the most noteworthy events hosted at the mosque.
The centre continued to fulfil its religious and cultural role by organising many programmes at the mosque with the Tarawih and Tahajjud prayers. The prayers were led by both the Imams of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Idris Abkar, Yahya Aishan, and several honourable reciters from the UAE President’s guest scholars and the mosque’s guests amidst an exceptional atmosphere.
As part of its efforts to improve the level of services provided to visitors and to assume social responsibility that aims to consolidate the value of volunteerism, the centre also enlisted several qualified volunteers who worked alongside the employees and the Emirates Red Crescent Authority and the (Absher Ya Watan) volunteer team.
The total number reached 105 Emirati volunteers, along with 79 employees from the Worshippers and Visitor Department at the centre who actively supervised the providence of utmost services to worshippers and those fasting, striving to embody the centre’s vision to establish the culture of volunteering within the youth.
To facilitate the arrival of worshippers to the mosque during the last ten days of the Holy Month, the centre allocated buses to transport worshippers to the mosque before Isha and Tarawih prayers, which extended until an hour after the Tahajjud prayer, to and from the car parks next to Wahat Al Karama, in addition to allocating buses to transport worshippers from the parking lots at Zayed Sports City in cooperation with the Integrated Transport Centre under the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi. The centre also distributed Audio Quran recordings in the voice of Imam Idris Abkar and Yahya Eishan on the night of the 27th of Ramadan to the worshippers.
The centre also launched the “Dhikr from the mosque” series throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan, in cooperation with the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments which was posted on the centre’s Instagram account.
In addition, it also organised several initiatives, including the “Jusoor” initiative that extended invitations to guests from various cultures and ethnicities living in the UAE to spend a day living the details of the Holy Month. The initiative spanned over two days and involved representatives from American, Mexican, Filipino, and Indian embassies and several of the centre’s staff.
On the first day, the participants took part in packing the Iftar meals at Erth Abu Dhabi Hotel – for onward distribution at the specialised economic zones “Zonescorp.” Day two involved them attending the “Zayed Humanitarian Work Day” event. The next day, the participants attended the “Zayed Humanitarian Work Day” event at the mosque, which members of various cultures and religions also attended without prejudice.
In collaboration with the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, the centre also hosted several clerics from different religions, sects, and faiths within a unique programme that was attended by Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, Head of the Department of Community Development, Muhammad Al Neyadi, Director-General of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and Dr. Nidal Al Tunaiji, Director-General of the Zayed House for Islamic Culture.
The program commenced with a tour of the mosque that introduced them to its message of peace and coexistence, which reflects the values of the late Founding Father.
The centre also organised an initiative in cooperation with the Zayed House for Islamic Culture to receive delegations of around 141 new Muslims, during which they learned about its message that calls for peace and interfaith coexistence.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre further organised the “Al Seha Amana” initiative in collaboration with “Erth Abu Dhabi Hotel ” and coordinated with Burjeel Medical City and NMC Hospital.
In line with the centre’s commitment to fulfilling its social responsibility, it also organised blood donation campaigns that spanned over four days, at both Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Grand Mosque in Al Ain, in cooperation with the “blood bank” of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).
The centre’s Ramadan preparations also involved Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Grand Mosque in Al Ain, which received 136,406 worshippers. 72,967 were received during Isha and Tarawih prayers and 43,121 during the Tahajjud prayer. At the same time, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Fujairah received 89,373 worshippers, of which 36,836 attended the Isha and Tarawih prayers, and 14,734 attended the Tahajjud prayer.
The centre acknowledged the efforts of government and private authorities and associations that annually cooperate with it during Ramadan, whose integrated contributions and active role played an integral part in the success of the entire work system during the Holy Month, including Erth Abu Dhabi Hotel, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, the General Command of the Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, the Abu Dhabi Media Company, the Emirates Red Crescent Authority in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Fujairah, the Integrated Transport Centre, Emirates Transport, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, Tadweer the Centre of waste management, and the (Absher Ya Watan) volunteer team.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, under the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, is sponsored and followed up by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.