UAE’s second-largest place of worship opens for Eid prayers
FUJAIRAH // The Dh210 million Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the second-largest in the country, opened its doors to worshippers for prayers on the first day of Eid Al Adha on Thursday.
Prayers were led by Fujairah Ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi at the mosque, which is the size of three football pitches at 39,000 square metres, and can accommodate 28,000 worshippers.
The mosque, on Mohammed bin Matar Road, has 65 domes and six minarets, each between 80 and 100 metres tall. The courtyard can accommodate 14,000 people and has fountains and gardens, all similar to the Islamic Ottoman structure.
Saeed Al Badi came from Qidfa to perform Eid prayers. He said that such a monument added value to Fujairah.
“We are in an Islamic country and people from all around the world will come and visit this unique landmark,” said Mr Al Badi, 42.
“Now we have Al Badiyah Mosque, the oldest mosque in the country, and this one is the second-largest mosque in the UAE.
“As you enter the mosque you can sense the spirituality and purity of the place, with all these people coming to pray and to thank God for everything he offers us, and to mark Eid the celebration.”
Ahmad Al Danhani, a 38-year-old Emirati worshipper who came to perform Eid prayers, said: “I have been waiting for this moment for a long time, the atmosphere here is indescribable.
“You can feel the greatness of the Islamic building style and it reminds me of the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul.”
Mr Al Danhani said that the opening of this vast mosque would also help to alleviate the problem of a lack of space in other mosques in the area.
“This mosque can accommodate large numbers of worshippers and this will solve the problem of finding a place to pray during Ramadan and Eid,” he said.
Mustafa Jalal, a 27-year-old Egyptian resident, said: “I had always wondered why it took them so long to open this mosque but, when I first entered the place, I understood why.
“They have taken care of the smallest details inside, the design along the walls and ceiling.
“Although it’s not fully completed outside, you can feel peaceful and calm surrounded by Allah’s words.”
Mohammad Al Afkham, director general of Fujairah Municipality, said that the mosque was a new landmark in Islamic architecture in the emirate and a new destination for Muslims from around the country.
The building project started in 2010 and was funded by the President, Sheikh Khalifa. The work was carried out by the Ministry of Public Works and supervised by Fujairah Municipality.
It was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country’s Founding Father, and its grand opening will be announced later this year.
Updated: September 24, 2015 04:00 AM