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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!
Today we were on tour visiting Abu Dhabi from Dubai with our guide Irfan Khan. We booked the Mosque, Qasr al Watan palace & Etihad towers tour, and we loved it !!! Irfan was really kind and helpful, offering us the choice staying with us during the visits or visiting by our own and giving us all the explanations before and after the visit which was really appreciated. We had all the time we wanted and all the informations about these great places. We recommand that tour and Irfan for sure.
This was a full half a day but many sites to see along the way and it very interesting long day but it was an amazing tour very thorough the guide was wonderful and all the people on it were great it was really actually fun to get dressed up and partake in traditional traditions in order to enter the mask and learn all about it very authentic experience enjoyed it we do it again
We just got from Abu dhabi. ..what a beautiful place...Ocean air travel is really amazing and our your guide Haseeb was really good and absolutely wonderful.Very knowledgale and informative.I leaent alot from him personally. The pick up was on time.They remind you a day before about everything and give you all the details.
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.