The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the U.A.E. The largest mosque in the country, it is the key place of worship for daily prayers. A smaller replica of the grand mosque exists in the Indonesian city of Surakarta.
The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1994 and 2007 and was inaugurated in December 2007. The building complex measures approximately 290 by 420 m (950 by 1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), excluding exterior landscaping and vehicle parking. The main axis of the building is rotated about 12° south of true west, aligning it in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The project was launched by the late president of the U.A.E., Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. In 2004, Sheikh Zayed died and was buried in the courtyard of the mosque.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (SZGMC) offices are located in the west minarets. SZGMC manages the day-to-day operations and serves as a center of learning and discovery through its educational cultural activities and visitor programs. The library, located in the northeast minaret, serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, and coins, including some rare publications. The collection comprises material in a broad range of languages, including Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Korean.