Find out what to do in Abu Dhabi and how to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, also known as the white Mosque.
Not long ago, I wrote a post about what to do in Dubai on a low budget. However, if you plan to visit the United Arab Emirates, I think the most interesting thing to visit is not Dubai but Abu Dhabi.
Some people take advantage of a stopover in this city and spend a few days visiting its interesting attractions (here, you can find some good hotels if you plan to stay for a few nights). Even though it doesn’t get as many visitors as Dubai, Abu Dhabi is, in my opinion, a nicer city.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi
A landmark in Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, also known as the white mosque. It’s an incredible building.
This mosque is one of the biggest in the world, and it can host about 40000 people. There are 82 domes; some are covered with gold and have well over 1000 columns.
Inside the mosque, you can find the biggest hand-made carpet in the world.
You can also find a chandelier that is one of the biggest in the world: it has a diameter of over 10 meters, is 15 meters tall, and has a total weight of over 12 tons.
Outside the mosque, there are numerous pools. If you have the chance it’s a good idea to take some pictures while the sun sets.
How to properly dress when visiting the White Mosque of Abu Dhabi
Since the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country, it’s important to dress properly, especially before visiting a religious site. Shorts are not allowed for men and women; women should have their heads covered. If you don’t have the right clothes, you can rent them before entering the mosque. You’ll also have to take your shoes off.
The first official celebration was the funeral of Sheikh Zayed, from whom the mosque gets its name. The whole building cost about 545 million USD, and it took 11 years to be completed, from 1996 to 2007.
How to get to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi
If you are in Dubai, the best way to get to the Mosque is by booking a half-day or full-day tour of Abu Dhabi like this one. The tour will also take you to the Mosque.
Remember that tourists are not allowed to visit the Mosque on Fridays and that the visit time is reduced during Ramadan. You can check the dates here.
What other things can you do and see in Abu Dhabi?
- Explore the Emirates Palace: Take a tour of the luxury hotel and learn about the rich culture and heritage of Abu Dhabi.
- Visit Yas Island: An entertainment destination that offers water parks, theme parks, shopping, and dining options.
- Visit the Qasr Al Hosn: The palace of the ruling family, known for its beautiful architecture, gardens, and historical significance.
- Visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital: Learn about the traditional art of falconry and see the majestic birds up close.
- Explore the Saadiyat Island: This cultural district is home to several museums and cultural institutions, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum.
- Visit Yas Marina: Stroll along the marina and enjoy the views of the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel and the Yas Marina.
- Visit the Yas Marina Circuit: Take a tour of the Formula 1 race circuit and learn about the history of motorsports in Abu Dhabi.
- Visit the Abu Dhabi Corniche: Stroll along the waterfront promenade and enjoy the city skyline views.
- Take a boat tour: See the city from a different perspective by taking a boat tour of the Abu Dhabi waterways.
- Visit Ferrari World: One of the city’s other popular attractions is the Ferrari-themed amusement park.