Al-Saleh Mosque

The only Yemeni mosque where police and bomb-sniffing dogs are used for inspecting worshippers. Prayers are also broadcast over the national television network to reach a larger viewing audience

Sana’a, Yemen

Coordinates: 15.3258,44.2077

Nearby Places

Al Saleh’s Mosque is a modern mosque in Sana’a that is the largest in Yemen. It lies in the southern outskirts of the city, south of the Al Sabeen Maternal Hospital.

The Mosque, 27,300 square metres (294,000 sq ft) in size, has a central hall that is 13,596 square metres (146,350 sq ft) with an occupancy capacity of 44,000. The building cost nearly US$60 million to construct. The Mosque appears on Yemeni currency. It is depicted on the face of the 2007 issue 250-rial note.


Saleh was criticized in 2008 for undertaking such a grand project when the country was suffering from socio-economic problems, wherein 42% of Yemenis lived in poverty. One in five were malnourished, according to United Nations estimates at the time. Several accidents occurred during its construction. The minarets collapsed multiple times, resulting in some deaths. After these occurrences, the site was used to build the Islamic college and the garden next to the Mosque. It is also mentioned that Hayel Said, a local businessman, was threatened with reprisals and annulment of his business licenses if he did not pay for the building of the Mosque.

Houthis Conflict

The Mosque was the site of fighting during the conflict between Houthi and pro-Saleh forces in December 2017. At the time, rumours circulated in Sana’a that the Houthis intended to repaint the Mosque’s dome green.

Open to Non-Muslims as well

Open to non-Muslims as well, the Mosque is frequented by tourists and promotes moderate Islam. Security measures include police and bomb-sniffing dogs. After the Houthi-Saleh split in early December that concluded with the death of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthi-led authorities decided to rename the Mosque from “Al Saleh Mosque” to “The People’s Mosque”.