Worshippers gather for iftar and prayers at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The famous place of worship welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors during the holy month

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Worshippers came together on Monday for iftar and Ramadan prayers at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Community members embraced the spirit of the holy month by breaking fast on the vast grounds of the famous place of worship.

Volunteers distributed food to the large crowds of visitors taking part in the traditional mass iftar held at the mosque each year during Ramadan.

More than 1.5 million free iftar meals were served at the mosque during the holy month last year, in keeping with the charitable values of the religious festival.

More than 850,000 people visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque during Ramadan and the Eid Al Fitr holiday in 2023.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre drew up comprehensive plans ahead of the holy month to meet the needs of the huge volume of worshippers and visitors expected during the period.

A series of meetings were held, with government and private sector partners, to ensure the smooth operation of the mosque's wide-ranging Ramadan activities.

President Sheikh Mohamed was among the attendees at the nightly iftar gathering at the mosque on Sunday.

He was pictured sitting side by side with fellow worshippers.

Humanitarian drive

The popular iftar gatherings held at the mosque are in line with the UAE's efforts to ensure all sections of society - both and home and abroad - can celebrate the holy month.

The Emirates Red Crescent, the charitable arm of the UAE government, operates a number of iftar tents nationwide, including women-only tents this year in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman.

The ERC is aiming to provide Eid clothing, Ramadan food parcels and iftar meals to more than 1.8 million people around the world under its Ramadan Continuous Giving Campaign.

The authority earlier this month delivered more than 9,000 iftar meals to needy people in the Pakistani provinces of Balochistan and Sindh province.

The relief project was carried out through the organisation's office in Pakistan.

A further 2,000 food parcels were given out to families in the two provinces to date as part of the ongoing support.

Doubling up support

The ERC has also pledged 10,000 iftar meals per day during Ramadan for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Solo, Indonesia.

The key support was ordered by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, chairman of the ERC.

Solo's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, named in a tribute to the UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was inaugurated by President Sheikh Mohamed and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in November 2022.

Though smaller than the Abu Dhabi original, it bears a remarkable resemblance to the architectural marvel with its striking white and gold decor, four minarets and a central dome surrounded by four smaller domes.

Updated: March 26, 2024, 8:58 AM