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Top sights in Abu Dhabi
Opened in 2007, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi's largest place of worship and the modern center of the city's religious life. Here's a little history worth knowing before your visit.
Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the man credited with uniting the emirates in 1971. He died in 2004, and was buried in the mosque's courtyard.
Sheikh Zayed was known as a tolerant leader. He saw the mosque as a unifying force and commissioned artisans and materials from across the globe to better realize his vision.
Built in Germany with Austrian crystals and Italian glasswork. The mosque also boasts the world's largest carpet. It was created by 1,300 Iranian artisans and weighs 35 tons!
7,000 worshippers can fit inside the main prayer hall, but the mosque accommodates over 40,000 every Eid. But that's a far cry from Mecca's Masjid al-Haram, which can host 4 million!
While visiting in 2013, the singer dressed more conservatively than ever, but her pouting and posing for photographs was deemed "disrespectful" by staff and she was asked to leave.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open until 10:00PM every day (last entry at 9:30PM) and is a must-see at night. It opens at 9:00AM from Saturday to Thursday. Fridays are closed to non-worshippers during Jumma time, but open to tourists from 4:30PM. The mosque runs its own walk-in tours at 10:00AM, 11:00AM and 5:00PM from Sunday to Thursday, 5:00PM and 7:00PM on Fridays, and 10:00AM, 11:00AM, 2:00PM, 5:00PM, and 7:00PM on Saturdays.
Entrance to the mosque is free. Walking tours are also free and last from 45 minutes to an hour.
In accordance with Islamic customs, visitors are required to wear long, loose-fitting, and opaque clothing. Legs (at least to the ankles) and shoulders must be covered. Visitors failing to dress accordingly will be refused entry.
- When should I visit?
- Make the most of the coolest period of the year, between November and February!
- Is it expensive?
- Entry is free of charge.
- Will I need a guide?
- It's advisable, so that you can maximize your visit by learning all about the mosque's unique cultural concept! Tours can be booked in advance or joined on the day.
- How to get there
- Taxis in Abu Dhabi are affordable, so don't hesitate to use one to get to the mosque directly.
- Additional information
- *During the month of Ramadan, please note that the mosque is open from Saturdays to Thursdays from 9:00AM to 2:00PM.
What people are saying about Sheikh Zayed Mosque
I absolutely loved this tour! I wanted to go Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and when I was looking for tour, I realized most of tour start in the morning but it didn’t work with my schedule. However, this tour is held twice a day so I was able to go there using afternoon tour. The tour guid(I’m so sorry I couldn’t remember his name..) was very kind, thoughtful and have very well knowledge. I was bit worried because I was the only one who joined this tour alone(other people came with their group.) but he took care of me very well and I didn’t feel like I left alone at all. I’m so thankful for him and this experience!
Our Tour Guide Saddam was very knowledgeable about the UAE. He made the difference with his quirky jokes. He knew a lot about Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Qasr Al Watan. Lunch is not included however we went to a lovely buffet restaurant overlooking the Corniche beach. All in all it was a great experience, however it did feel a little rushed at times...
The half day tour is enough time to go, see the mosque and come back. It was perfect for us as we were on a tight schedule and was cramming in other tours. Latif, our guide was very personable, knowledgable, and was the best photographer! He knew all the angles!
Excellent tour, great communication in regards to pick up. Fantastic service during the day. very informative guide who knew what time to arrive and get us into places before the large crowds.
This tour was amazing and my tour guide Riz was amazing! Very knowledgeable and an amazing photographer, if you want someone to take great pictures that you will love, Riz is you guy!