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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 booked my trip for Abu Dhabi as I'm staying in Dubai and came here on a solo trip. Recieved confirmation from ocean air travels prior to the tour and the vehicle reached my hotel exactly at 8:35 am as it was mentioned. Had a great trip, thanks to tour guide Mr. Usama who kept everyone interested with all the knowledgable details. Mr. Usama turned out to be a great guide and I'd recommend everyone to book this tour with him. The tour was a success with the grand mosque, royal area, qasr al watan palace. The surprise after lunch was especially amazing which took us to the 74th floor of Etihad towers. You should definitely go for this tour and pick Mr. Usama as your guide if you are looking for a trip in and around Abu Dhabi in a single day. I really appreciate Mr. Usama for helping with the pictures too, even more as a solo traveler. Nice job!
We booked the half day tour to the Abu Dhabi mosque and had the pleasure of having Sammy as our tour guide. I highly recommend booking with this company as they are extremely professional and friendly. Pickup and drop off was timely and was straight to our hotel. There was also excellent communication between the the tour company and the mosque. It was very informative, Sammy took excellent pictures for us too. (He knew the best spots and angles for great photos) They provided us with abayas and cold refreshments throughout the trip. Cannot fault this trip at all. Thank you.
Visited Ferrari World, Yazz Island (boat,) carpet "museum" Photo opportunities, Lunch and the Mosque. We were picked up at our hotel by a car and transferred to the coach in Dubai City. Everything was excellent, just 2 things could be looked at? the timings, 2 sets of times were sent to me but the driver turned up in between these times. Lunch, not everyone wants a "eat all you can" lunch.
On a solo exploration of Dubai, I booked this tour. Our guide, Sami, was excellent and gave us an in depth overview of Abu Dhabi and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Although there were about 10 of us and it was an exceptionally hot day, our guide managed to educate us, take pictures for us, and keep us together. Well done overall.
Adnan, the tour guide was amazing. We learnt a lot about not only the mosque but the Islamic religion and culture. He made the tour interactive and exciting. Sultan, the photographer made sure he captured our best and most memorable moments of the tour. They made a great team. We thoroughly enjoyed our time together.