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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
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.
We were picked up on time and taken to our vehicle for transport to Abu Dhabi and Hamid was very constructive in pointing out everything en route. The mosque was our first visit and my wife and the other female guests were supplied with very decorative black dress which was a cut above other tour operators, so well done to you. Each place we visited was awesome and any visitor could see the results of the oil dollar. I would recommend your company to anyone who were thinking about doing the trip to Abu Dhabi.
A great day trip to Abu Dhabi!!! Everything perfectly organized and very well explained by the tour guide Noor. Through him you get to know everything worth knowing about the very impressive buildings in very good English. We also liked the "small" travel group of only 6 people, as the day was much more personal. All in all a top excursion to get an impression of this city!
We had great day with very knowledgeable guide/driver who took really good care of us-moved us through the crowds and got internal transports organised. Amazing sites and buffet lunch was really nice food-fab introduction to wide variety of local foods. I would strongly recommend this tour, especially with Kasshen as driver.
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.