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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 14, 2022
Headline for Top 5 Sacred & Religious Sites in Abu Dhabi - A dose of history and culture in the exotic Gulf city
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Sacred & Religious Sites in Abu Dhabi - A dose of history and culture in the exotic Gulf city

The city of ultra-modern towers, sprawling deserts and mind-blowing opulence—the bustling metropolis of the UAE is home to a clutch of sacred and religious sites that are just as incredible. Tour these places of religious significance and add a dose of history and culture to your Abu Dhabi experience.


Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - The largest mosque in the UAE

Abu Dhabi basks in the glory of being the home to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque—the largest mosque in the entire UAE as well as one of the largest mosques in the world. Constructed not that long ago between 1996 and 2007, the striking white mosque might not hold a decades-long historic significance as remarkable as some other religious sites in the metropolis but definitely is the most outstanding—not only as a place of worship but also as a tourist attraction.


Mary, Mother of Jesus Mosque - Exemplifying the values of co-existence among religions in the UAE

Mary, Mother of Jesus Mosque—Mariam Umm Eisa Masjid when translated to Arabic—sits in the central neighbourhood of Al Mushrif in the bustling city of Abu Dhabi. Dating back to 1989, the mosque was initially named, "Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan", named after the third and the current President of the UAE. Later in June 2017, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan himself decided to rename the mosque to its current name, "Mary, Mother of Jesus Mosque", in a bid to, in his very own words, "consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions in the UAE".


Bani Yas Mosque - Big blue dome masjid

Bani Yas Mosque—also known as Baniyas Grand Mosque—dates back to 1985 and has been dedicated to residents that live in and around Baniyas ever since. While the local mosque sees residents from around the area every day, who come to make their prayers, the mosque sees the most crowds during the holy season of Ramadan. The big blue dome right in the middle is easily distinctive of the mosque and has a huge courtyard with three entrances.


Bani Hashim Mosque - Abu Dhabi's Al-Aqsa Mosque

Anyone who's been to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem would immediately recognise Bani Hashim Mosque's close resemblance. The architecture and the design of the Bani Hashim Mosque in Rabdan, Al Maqta in Abu Dhabi are unique, but somehow the mosque is immediately reminiscent of the popular mosque in Jerusalem. The exterior of the walls is two-toned—blue on the top half and white on the latter and has a giant golden dome sitting right in the middle, on top of the mosque.


Jahili Moschee – A Single-room mosque

Jahili Moschee in downtown Al Ain is like no other mosque in all of Abu Dhabi. Dating back to the late 19th century, the one-of-a-kind mosque was built by Sheikh Zayed the First. While most other mosques in Abu Dhabi as well as all across the UAE are somewhat grand and palatial, Jahili Moschee mosque only has a single room with an open arcade. Vacationing tourists could also find a fine Abu Dhabi desert resort in the vicinity, including the likes of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.