comScore
Courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque picture in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Walkway picture in Abu Dhabi
Inside the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque picture in Abu Dhabi
Courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque picture in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Walkway picture in Abu Dhabi
Inside the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque picture in Abu Dhabi

Key Info

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.8
Overall
US NEWS LOGO

Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Constructed between 1996 and 2007 at the request of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is by far the most popular of Abu Dhabi's sights, and it's easy to see why. One of the largest mosques in the world, this house of worship features 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns and a white and gold facade. What's more, this is one of only two mosques in the UAE open to non-Muslim tourists. That means that visitors from all around the globe can walk across the world's largest hand-woven rug, gaze up at one of the world's largest chandeliers and admire the fusion of Fatimid, Mamluk and Ottoman architectural styles, representing three different Islamic dynasties.

Although it's not Abu Dhabi's oldest attraction, those who have visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque say that a stop here is a must for those who want a better understanding of the city's religious identity. The site is one of the world's most significant examples of contemporary Islamic architecture. You are welcome to explore the mosque on your own, but many travelers recommend tagging along on one of the free guided tours; tours take between 45 minutes and an hour and can be reserved in advance, or you can simply show up and wait for the next scheduled English tour. "Our guide was outstanding; no religion, just amazing facts and with his commentary we understood the incredible engineering, art [and] workmanship that make this so very special," according to one TripAdvisor user. Previous visitors highly recommend touring the mosque in the evening when the sunset reflects off the marble courtyard.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open to the public Saturday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the last entry at 9:30 p.m. On Fridays, the mosque is open from 5 to 11 p.m. Admission is free every day of the week. Walk-in tours are offered at various times during those days. The mosque is located near the three bridges separating the city of Abu Dhabi from the mainland — you can access the site via taxi or the 32, 44 and 54 buses from central Abu Dhabi city. Remember: This is still an active mosque serving up to 40,000 worshippers. You should dress modestly in loose-fitting long pants or skirts and long-sleeve shirts, and women will need to cover their heads. For more information (including tour times), visit the mosque's website.

Powered by Viator See more Tours & Tickets

Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Park Rotana

Park Rotana ...

  • 0.7 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi- Grand Canal

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi- Grand Canal ...

  • 0.5 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Abu Dhabi »

More Best Things to Do in Abu Dhabi

Courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque picture in Abu Dhabi
Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Abu Dhabi Corniche and Skyline picture in Abu Dhabi
Beaches, Neighborhood/Area Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Outside the Emirates Palace Hotel picture in Abu Dhabi
Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Exploring the Empty Quarter picture in Abu Dhabi
Sightseeing, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Jebel Hafeet Summit picture in Abu Dhabi
Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Al Jahili Fort picture in Abu Dhabi
Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
The Marina Mall picture in Abu Dhabi
Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Harvesting Dates in the Al Ain Oasis picture in Abu Dhabi
Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum picture in Abu Dhabi
Castles/Palaces, Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Shops in Heritage Village picture in Abu Dhabi
Museums, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Grand Prix Race in Abu Dhabi picture in Abu Dhabi
Amusement Parks, Sports, Tours Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Healthy Patient at the Falcon Hospital picture in Abu Dhabi
Sightseeing, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
|

#1 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Constructed between 1996 and 2007 at the request of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is ... Read more » Vizual Vortex Studio / Shutterstock

Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

#3 Emirates Palace Like the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Emirates Palace sets the standard for luxury lodging in Abu Dhabi. This sprawling resort says its goes "beyond 5-star luxury" for its clientele ... Read more » Shahid Ali Khan / Shutterstock

#4 Desert Tours Surrounding the Liwa Oasis in the western part of the emirate is the Al Gharbia region, home to the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter). As the largest uninterrupted sand mass ... Read more » Kyle Taylor / Flickr

#5 Jebel Hafeet & The Al Ain Camel Souk Rising more than 4,000 feet out of the desert and straddling the UAE-Oman border about 15 miles south of Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet stands as the tallest mountain in ... Read more » Manamana / Shutterstock

#6 Al Jahili Fort Sitting about a block west of the Palace Museum is the striking Al Jahili Fort. Built in the late 1800s, Al Jahili is the largest edifice in Al Ain made ... Read more » Patrik Dietrich / Shutterstock

#7 Marina Mall The United Arab Emirates are a shopper's paradise: This wealthy country has no shortage of traditional souks (marketplaces) and high-end megamalls, with the Marina Mall being one of Abu ... Read more » Laszlo Halasi / Shutterstock

#8 Al Ain Oasis When the blazing Arabian heat starts to take its toll, you can find respite at the Al Ain Oasis. Occupying nearly 3,000 acres of central Al Ain, this quiet ... Read more » Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

#9 Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum Sitting on the western edge of the Al Ain Oasis, the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (also known as the Al Ain Palace Museum) offers visitors a glimpse of what life ... Read more » Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

#10 Heritage Village Although Abu Dhabi is constantly evolving, remnants of the UAE's heritage are easy to find. If you're interested in learning more about Abu Dhabi's roots, consider a ... Read more » Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

#11 Yas Marina Circuit & Ferrari World Fans of racing will feel at home in Abu Dhabi. While those more interested in Abu Dhabi's heritage make their way to the camel race tracks near Al Ain ... Read more » Nick Webb / Flickr

#12 Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital One of Abu Dhabi's more obscure attractions is the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital: This functioning animal care unit is devoted to the health of falcons, which have long played ... Read more » Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque picture in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Corniche and Skyline picture in Abu Dhabi
Outside the Emirates Palace Hotel picture in Abu Dhabi
Exploring the Empty Quarter picture in Abu Dhabi
Jebel Hafeet Summit picture in Abu Dhabi
Al Jahili Fort picture in Abu Dhabi
The Marina Mall picture in Abu Dhabi
Harvesting Dates in the Al Ain Oasis picture in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum picture in Abu Dhabi
Shops in Heritage Village picture in Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix Race in Abu Dhabi picture in Abu Dhabi
Healthy Patient at the Falcon Hospital picture in Abu Dhabi
Courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque picture in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Corniche and Skyline picture in Abu Dhabi
Outside the Emirates Palace Hotel picture in Abu Dhabi
Exploring the Empty Quarter picture in Abu Dhabi
Jebel Hafeet Summit picture in Abu Dhabi
Al Jahili Fort picture in Abu Dhabi
The Marina Mall picture in Abu Dhabi
Harvesting Dates in the Al Ain Oasis picture in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum picture in Abu Dhabi
Shops in Heritage Village picture in Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix Race in Abu Dhabi picture in Abu Dhabi
Healthy Patient at the Falcon Hospital picture in Abu Dhabi

Commissioned by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE's founder and first president, this stunning mosque is one of only two in the country to grant access to non-Muslim visitors. Vizual Vortex Studio / Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi's seaside promenade, known as the Corniche, offers easy access to the city's beaches and impressive views of the harbor and the skyline. Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

It'll cost you a fortune to stay here — this is one of the most expensive hotels in the UAE — but you don't have to drop a dime to admire the Emirates Palace's grounds and public spaces. Shahid Ali Khan / Shutterstock

The Empty Quarter's rolling dunes provide an excellent venue for camel rides, dune buggy excursions and other desert tours. Kyle Taylor / Flickr

Located just south of Al Ain, this mountain is the tallest in Abu Dhabi and the second tallest in the UAE. Jebel Hafeet's summit affords spectacular views of the Al Ain region, as well as Oman. Manamana / Shutterstock

The Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain was built in the late 1800s to protect the area's palm groves in the event of an invasion. Patrik Dietrich / Shutterstock

Laszlo Halasi / Shutterstock

In the Al Ain Oasis, date farmers continue to use a traditional irrigation system known as "falaj." This 3,000-acre oasis is home to almost 150,000 date palms and helps keep the country stocked with the popular snack. Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Overlooking Dhow Harbour, this section of Abu Dhabi city is devoted to the preservation of the emirate's incredible history. While at Heritage Village, you can tour Bedouin tents and watch as craftsmen create pottery and metal works. You can also purchase souvenirs from the local shops here. Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Racing is a popular pastime in Abu Dhabi: World-renowned competitions like the Grand Prix take place on a regular basis at the Yas Marina Circuit. Nick Webb / Flickr

One of Abu Dhabi's more unique attractions, the Falcon Hospital is devoted to the care of these revered birds, which were once used primarily by hunters for tracking prey in the desert. Courtesy the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

×

See full list of Best Things to Do in Abu Dhabi »

Explore More of Abu Dhabi

Find the Best Price

Enter your check in and check out dates to find the best price

PriceFinder powered by TripAdvisor Primary Logo