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UAE-gifted mosque in Indonesia to open before Ramadan 

February 7, 2023 at 3:10 pm

Ariel view of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Indonesia [@MohamedBinZayed/Twitter]

The official opening of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Indonesia is to take place before the start of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, which is expected to commence this year on 22 March.

The mosque which shares the same name and similar design to the iconic landmark in Abu Dhabi was gifted by the UAE to the country with the world’s largest Muslim population. The smaller replica of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is in Surakarta, Central Java, and was inaugurated last November by UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan and his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo.

“We have to open before Ramadan, because we have already prepared programmes for the holy month,” Arab News reported Indonesia’s Akmal Salim Ruhana as saying. Ruhana heads the mosque affairs sub-directorate at the Ministry of Religious Affairs. “This is an expression of the good relations between the two countries, Indonesia-UAE diplomatic relations, and the closeness and friendliness of the two presidents.”

A spokesman for the Surakarta City Government said that the mosque “has the potential to be a learning centre for a moderate generation of Islam.” He added that it will also serve as an important tourist attraction for visitors from around the world.

The mosque is about one-fifth of the size of the original in Abu Dhabi and can accommodate up to 14,000 worshippers. Moreover, it features design elements unique to the region, such as the batik art form, indigenous to Indonesia.

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