Visit 15 Best Islamic Attractions in UAE

Islamic Attractions in UAE - collage of photos

Are you searching for an authentic experience of Islamic culture and history in the UAE? Here are fifteen of the best Islamic attractions in UAE. Living locally, I’ve visited them all and most of them several times.

If you’re eager to learn about Islam, its history and its influence on art and architecture, the UAE has some treasures for you to explore. From the awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi to the museum dedicated to the Holy Quran in Sharjah and Quranic Park in Dubai to a centuries-old mosque in Fujairah, each site offers a unique perspective on Islamic heritage.

Join me as we look closer at these Islamic landmarks in the UAE and I share a few of my own experiences, tips and insights.

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15 Best Islamic Attractions in UAE

1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is one of the most-photographed buildings in the UAE and a must-see on your trip to the capital.

sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi

With a blend of Fatimid, Ottoman, and Mamluk styles, the architecture of Sheikh Zayed Mosque is nothing less than stunning. According to Islamic principles, the interior is decorated with exquisite floral and geometric designs. Materials used include Macedonian marble, nacre, mosaic tiles gold, wood, coloured glass, lapis lazuli and semi-precious stones.

The mosque has 82 domes, 1,096 columns, four minarets standing 100m tall and columns inspired by palm trees. A beautiful hand-made carpet, the biggest in the world, took two years to make. Artisans from several countries were involved in creating the mosque and its various elements. For example, the Swarovski crystal chandelier was made in Germany. 

sheikh zayed mosque swarowski chandelier
How can I visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?

Book online at the official SZGM website before arriving to ensure there’s an empty slot and ensure your clothes comply with the dress code. Visitors follow a marked route around the mosque with specific photo stops. You can do this alone or join a guided tour in English or Arabic.

See more of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi here.

Is Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi worth visiting?

If you love architecture, beautiful buildings and photographing them, then yes! It’s one of those things you can’t visit Abu Dhabi without doing.

Things to know before you visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi
  • Opening times: Sat to Thur 9am to 10pm, last entry 9:30pm, Fri 9am to 12pm, last entry 11:30 am, 3pm to 10 pm, last entry 9:30pm
  • Ticket Price and tour price: Free
  • Location: Al Rawdah, Abu Dhabi
  • Sheikh Zayed Mosque dress code: Clothing to below knee and covering shoulders for men, ladies must be fully covered including the head, no offensive slogans or pictures. Gowns can be bought in the mall you pass through before entry for under AED100. (See infographic at the end.)
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, accessible toilets, wheelchairs available

2. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is one of the best places to visit in the UAE for Islamic history.

Museum of Islamic Civilization building, Sharjah

With six galleries, there’s plenty to see and learn. You can discover more about Islamic art, calligraphy, weaponry, and manuscripts at the permanent exhibits and see artefacts from the early days of scientific innovation and Islamic history.

The first gallery focuses on Islamic faith, the Quran and the mosque. The next is the Gallery of Science and Technology followed by Islamic art galleries including weapons and textiles and in the centre is a collection of Islamic coins.

The Islamic Museum in Sharjah also regularly hosts temporary exhibitions from around the world in the final gallery, so it’s worth checking out what’s on. The exhibitions run twice a year for six months.

The museum building is also part of the experience with its exquisite Islamic architecture and intricate designs. One of the highlights is on the top floor, where you can admire the night sky, constellations, and zodiac signs painted inside the dome.

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is wheelchair accessible. Tours in sign language and sensory tours are also available. You need to call to arrange this in advance though.
Parking is available and the museum has a cafe and a gift shop.

Is Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization worth visiting?

If you’re interested in history and art and learning more about Islam, yes it is.

See more of the Museum of Islamic Civilization here.

Things to know before you visit the Museum of Islamic Civilization in Sharjah

  • Opening times: Sat-Thurs 8-8, Fri 4-8
  • Ticket Price: Adults AED10, children AED5, resident senior citizens and POD free.
  • Location: Sharjah Corniche
  • Dress code: None but respectful dress is appreciated. No beachwear, etc.
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, accessible toilets, wheelchairs and stools available, elevators, audio loop, sign language or tactile tour available upon advance booking

3. Holy Quran Museum in Sharjah

One of the least-known Islamic attractions in UAE, the Holy Quran Museum where you enter a world rich with Islamic history, spread across seven themed museums.

Hall of at Holy Quran museum Sharjah UAE

Although the exhibition is in Arabic, knowledgeable tour guides will explain the stories and significance behind the exhibits in English or Arabic. 

When you first enter, you pass a model of the Cave of Hira where Prophet Muhammad ﷺ found solitude to contemplate and received his first Quranic revelation. 

First is the circular hall housing the Museum of the History of Writing the Noble Quran. Follow the timeline that traces how the Quran was preserved over centuries, starting from the 7th century when the first Muslims recorded verses on whatever was at hand.  

It’s fascinating to see the evolution of the recording of the Quran, from verses on camel bones to modern digital forms and braille. Some of the exhibits here are original and others are models.

Next is the Museum of Rare Qurans, a treasure trove of ‘mushaf’ from as early as the 8th century, sourced from around the globe, demonstrating the artistry of renowned calligraphers and adorned with precious materials like gold and lapis lazuli.

In the Museum of the Seven and Ten Quranic Readings, you can immerse yourself in the various recitations of the Holy Quran. Then, you can learn about influential Quranic scholars in the Museum of the Quran Pillars Throughout History.

The Museum of Famous Quran Readers celebrates iconic reciters, offering a personal touch with some of their belongings on display. Special sections dedicated to the three holy mosques with live feed add to the spiritual journey.

The Museum of the Kaaba Cloth (Kiswa) and the Prophet’s Chamber’s Curtains reveals the craft behind the Kiswa and the transition from linen and wool to the current silk embroidered with Quranic verses.

Lastly, the Museum of Universe and Mankind in the Quran bridges faith and science, demonstrating the Quran’s insights into the universe.

The Holy Quran Museum, located in the Holy Quran Academy, aims to inspire visitors with its serene ambience and rich content. It certainly worked for me!

Is The Holy Quran Museum worth visiting?

If you have an interest in the history of the Quran and lives of scholars, for sure. I have a colleague who goes there with his family at least once a month! If you are non-Muslim and have to choose between this and the Museum of Islamic Civilization, go for the second. (But go to both if you have time!)

See more of The Holy Quran Museum

Things to know before you visit Holy Quran Museum in Sharjah
  • Opening times: Sat-Thurs 8am-8pm, Fri 4pm-8pm
  • Ticket Price: Free
  • Location: Holy Quran Academy, Mowaileh, Sharjah
  • Dress code: modest dress
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible

4. Fujairah Grand Mosque

Fujairah Grand Mosque, or Fujairah Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to give it its full name, is the second biggest mosque in the UAE.

fujairah grand mosque Fujairah

Its breathtaking architecture was inspired by the Ottoman style, with six minarets and 65 domes of varying sizes. The minarets are also of different sizes and range between 80 and 100 metres tall.

The mosque has a large inner courtyard, which is often packed full during Friday prayers and other special prayers, for example, in Ramadan and on Eid.

Inside are stained glass windows and domes embellished with gold, and chandeliers hang high over a large carpet with a floral design. A sense of calm prevails throughout the mosque. Outside are mosaic-tiled pools and fountains, heightening the feeling of calm and tranquillity.

Fujairah Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the only mosque on the East Coast that non-Muslims can visit. To truly appreciate the mosque, I recommend taking a free guided tour. The local Emirati guide will tell you lots of fascinating facts and stories about the mosque’s design and significance.

The mosque welcomes all visitors from 9am to 12pm daily, except Fridays. You can book your tour online through the Fujairah Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s official website to ensure availability. Although walk-ins are welcome, you still need to register online before starting the tour.

Whether you’re interested in architecture and culture or simply seeking a tranquil place for reflection, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Fujairah is a must-visit destination on the East Coast.

See more of the Fujairah Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque here.

Is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Fujairah worth visiting?

Yes, apart from the architecture, the tour is great, it’s very peaceful and it’s an extra opportunity for you to interact with a local Emirati.

Things to know before you visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Fujairah
  • Opening times: Sat to Thur 9am to 12pm
  • Ticket Price: free
  • Location: Al Ittihad Rd, Fujairah City
  • Dress code: Clothing to below knee and covering shoulders for men, ladies must be fully covered including the head.
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, wheelchairs available, accessible toilets

5. Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai

Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai has long been a favourite spot for tourists and expats. Often deemed one of the most beautiful mosques in Dubai, its exquisite design reflects the traditional Fatimid style often seen in Egypt and Syria. 

Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai, one of the Islamic attractions in UAE

After three years of construction, the famous mosque in Jumeirah opened its doors in 1979. Apart from its aesthetic attraction, the mosque also plays a role in educating visitors through its Open Doors Open Minds programme.

For non-Muslims, this is the best mosque to visit in Dubai as it’s the only one open to visitors. Go along during Jumeirah Mosque’s open hours and take a tour to learn more about the mosque’s architectural details and gain insights into Islamic traditions and practices. (See how below.)

The Mosques of the World’ Photography Exhibition features 32 entries to the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award. The exhibition is in the adjacent Majlis and is open every day except Friday from 9am to 5pm. 

close-up photo of Jumeirah Mosque

Also in the Jumeirah Mosque Majlis is the Once Upon a Time Museum with exhibits showcasing life and traditions from last century. You can visit this and the gift shop during your visit to the mosque.

Is Jumeirah Mosque worth visiting?

Well, in my opinion, that depends. If you only have a short time and only visiting Dubai, then yes, it’s worth visiting. If you have more time and will be visiting other emirates, I’d choose one of the others mentioned in this post to visit. Having said that, this is the only mosque tour that talks about Islam as well as the mosque itself. In terms of architecture, there are lots of other beautiful mosques to see.

When can I visit Jumeirah Mosque?

The first mosque visit starts at 10am and the second at 2pm. Registration opens 30 mins before and you can just turn up. Private visits for groups can also be arranged. Check the website for timings for the Jumeirah mosque visit during Ramadan.

Why is the Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai so famous?

It is one of the most photographed mosques in Dubai. Also, many years ago, Jumeirah Mosque was one of the miniatures that Emirates Airline gifted to business class passengers. My mum had one in her living room so that was my first ‘sighting’ of Jumeirah Mosque back in the 90s, just a few years before I moved to Dubai.

Things to know about Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai before you visit
  • Majlis opening times: Sat-Thurs 9am-5pm
  • Jumeirah Mosque tour timings: Sat-Thurs 10am, 2pm
  • Cost of Jumeirah Mosque tours: Adults AED40 (around US$11)
  • Location: Jumeirah 1
  • Jumeirah Mosque Dress code: According to their website, modest dress, scarf for ladies
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, accessible toilets, parking is across the road

Visit their website to find out more here.

6. Sharjah Grand Mosque

Sharjah has over 3000 mosques across the emirate with many beautiful examples of Arabic architecture but the jewel in the crown has to be Sharjah Grand Mosque.

sharjah mosque with project mapping in vibrant colours during sharjah light festival 2020
Sharjah Mosque lit up during Sharjah Light Festival 2020

Inspired by the Ottoman architectural style, Sharjah Mosque has one large central dome with six half domes around it and many smaller domes on the lower parts. The inside is beautifully decorated with mother of pearl, calligraphy, stained glass windows and chandeliers, all the work of highly skilled artisans.

The tranquil Islamic gardens with fountains, flowing water and ornate pavilions are lovely for strolling in and enjoying the surroundings. I like to go at night, but if you can, visit it both in the daytime and at night time.

Sharjah Grand Mosque took five years to build, costing AED300 million, and opened in May 2019. The complex covers an area of 2,000,000 sq ft and can accommodate around 25,000 people in the prayer halls and outdoor areas. A balcony in the main prayer hall is dedicated for ladies and offers a good view of the main area.

There are no official visits at Sharjah Grand Mosque at the moment, but if you go around the side, you’ll find an entrance marked ‘Non-Muslims’. There’s no guarantee but hopefully, you’ll be allowed into the viewing area. The best time to try is in the morning before midday prayers or between prayers when it’s quieter.

Is Sharjah Grand Mosque worth visiting?

Yes, it’s worth visiting to see its beautiful architecture, especially during the Light Festival. There is no guarantee you can go inside though if that’s what you’re hoping for.

Things to know before you visit Sharjah Grand Mosque
  • Opening times: n/a
  • Ticket Price: n/a
  • Sharjah Grand Mosque Location: Intersection of Emirates Rd E611 and Maleha Rd S102, Sharjah
  • Sharjah Grand Mosque Dress code: Clothing to below knee and covering shoulders for men, ladies must be fully covered including the head.
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, accessible toilets, elevators, stools, wheelchairs

7. Quranic Park Dubai

Next on our list of Muslim places to visit in UAE is the Quranic Park in Dubai. Within the open park area are different sections divided into orchards for plants mentioned in the Quran or Hadith, such as pomegranate and fig.

Miracle of Musa quranic park

One side of the park where the palm and ginger orchards seems much like a normal park but on the other side are herbs, grains, vegetables and more trees such as lemon and olives.

Following the signs to the Cave of Miracles, you pass through a seating area where the Quran is played through loud speakers creating the perfect spot to sit and listen and ponder the verses or enjoy the beautiful rhythm and voice.

A similar area with shade is right in front of the Cave of Miracles. This is where you may need to queue to get into the Cave. Make sure you buy your ticket from Gate 2 before going. There were vending machines but they don’t appear to be working yet.

Inside the Cave of Miracles, you will follow a tour after selecting your language – English, Arabic or Urdu. At eight stops along the way there is a video narrating a story of one of the prophets.

The next stop is at the Miracle of Musa (pbuh), which is the lake split in two as the seas were split for him to pass through. You can walk through the middle and it’s nice and cool. This section is fully wheelchair accessible.

Finally, the Glass House is a botanical garden with plants mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah. Use one of the interactive screens to learn more about the plant, its uses and the religious reference.

The best time to visit Quranic Park is first thing in the morning or late afternoon as it is both indoor and outdoor. This means you can do the outdoor activities in the cooler part of the day.

Is Quranic Park in Dubai worth visiting?

Yes, for a few hours out with family or friends including a picnic at the park, or for a shorter educational visit. I spent about two hours here after arriving at 8:30am but was disappointed I couldn’t get a cup of coffee all morning.

Things to know before you visit Quranic Park in Dubai
  • Dubai Quranic Park Opening times: Daily 8am to 10pm
  • Quranic Park Glass House and Cave of Miracles Opening times: Daily 9:30am to 9pm
  • Quranic Park Dubai Entry Fee: Entrance to park free, entrance to the Glass House AED5 and Cave of Miracles AED5, POD and children 0-5 free. NOL card no longer necessary, pay cash or by card.
  • Quranic Park Location: Al Khawaneej, Dubai
  • Quranic Park Dress Code: Modest dress for male and female
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, autism-friendly badge at entrance

8. Amina bint Ahmad Alghurair Mosque in Ajman

Amina Bint Ahmad Al Ghurair Mosque Ajman

Amina bint Ahmad Alghurair Mosque was built by HH Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, as a tribute to his mother.

Undoubtedly the most beautiful mosque in Ajman, it attracts worshippers from all around, especially during Ramadan. During this month the exterior is lit up and well-known reciters from around the Gulf region are invited to lead the Tarawih (extra night prayers).

The architecture is a blend of contemporary, Moroccan and Andalusian in white with gold touches. One large gold dome sits above the main prayer hall with a half-dome above the mihrab and three smaller domes, all in gold.

The minaret is an independent structure decorated with the testimony of faith in Kufic calligraphy.

At the front is an open courtyard with a fountain, marble floors and benches and decorative panels above creating a relaxing place to prepare for prayers and contemplate.

On two sides of the building are large decorated windows lighting up the beauty inside the mosque. Simple, light carpets have a decorative band with a geometric design matching the decor marking lines for congregational prayer.

In the main prayer hall, a golden coloured mihrab has the name of Allah inside and the shahada, or testimony of faith, above. Either side are panels with the 99 names of Allah. An elegant, modern chandelier hangs from the decorative ceiling.

large windows, chandelier and 99 names of God inside sheikha amina bint ahmed alghurairi mosque

Upstairs is a balcony overlooking the prayer hall. During Ramadan, this area is allocated for ladies for the Tarawih prayers.

The white and gold theme continues into the ablution area with decorative fountains under one of the domes.

As a non-Muslim, you can visit the outside and courtyard but avoid the time between the adhan and the congregational prayer. Although you may read in various places that visitors are welcome, there is no timing for that and arrangements need to be made.

For Muslims, men and ladies can visit their respective sections during prayer times and ladies can go on the balcony during tarawih prayer in Ramadan. (Note that children are not allowed on the balcony.)

Things to know before you visit Amina bint Ahmad Alghurair Mosque in Ajman
  • Opening times: Prayer times, may be open between, courtyard is always accessible
  • Location: Al Ittihad Rd E11, Ajman, next to Safa Park
  • Dress code: Clothing to below knee and covering shoulders for men, ladies must be fully covered including the head.
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, accessible toilets, elevator to balcony

9. Islamic World Garden in Sharjah

Take a stroll through the Islamic World Garden near Sharjah University City and immerse yourself in the legacies of Muslim scholars who made significant contributions to various fields, such as mathematics, astronomy and chemistry

Islamic world garden and Islamic cultural monument Sharjah

The open garden features twenty-four granite monuments, each dedicated to a different Muslim scholar, narrating their achievements and spheres of influence.

Among the 24 scholars highlighted are Al Zarqali, a notable astronomer in the 11th century AD/CE, Bin Firnas, an inventive engineer in the 9th century, and Al Kindi, a philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician also in the 9th century.

If you find yourself intrigued by these scholars, see the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization below, where you can delve deeper into the contributions of Muslim intellectuals.

The Islamic World Garden also celebrates Sharjah’s contribution to present-day culture, with the Arab Cultural Monument at one end and the Islamic Culture Capital Monument at the other. These proudly commemorate the emirate’s titles of Capital of Arab Culture in 1998 and Islamic Culture Capital in 2014.

The garden is always open and has fountains, play parks and two restaurants. If time allows, why not take a walk up to The House of Wisdom and the Scroll Monument while you’re there?

See more of Islamic World Garden here.

Is Islamic World Garden in Sharjah worth visiting?

It’s nice to wander through the park and learn something new. You should plan another activity with it though. (See the linked post for ideas.)

Things to know before you visit Islamic World Garden
  • Opening times: 24/7
  • Ticket Price: n/a
  • Location: Sharjah Airport/Dhaid Rd E88, Sharjah, next to Sharjah University City
  • Dress code: Clothing to below knee and covering shoulders for men, ladies must be fully covered including the head.
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible

10. Islamic Botanical Garden in Sharjah Central Region

Next on our list of Islamic places of interest is the Islamic Botanical Garden in Sharjah, a serene green space with over fifty plants mentioned in the Quran and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet ﷺ).

Islamic Botanic Gardens, Sharjah Desert Park

The botanical garden has various plants with medicinal and other properties, including the fig, olive, pomegranate, and date palm, among others. The description highlights the Islamic references and the plant’s importance.

The education centre has display and interactive boards with more information about the plant world and a cafe.

The Islamic garden beyond that has traditional geometric design elements and water features, making it a very relaxing place to sit and enjoy the beautiful flowers, birds and butterflies or to contemplate.

If you continue to the Museum of Natural History in the same park, you will find more Quranic references in the exhibits.

Things to know before you visit Islamic Botanical Garden in Sharjah
  • Opening times: Tues to Thur 9am to 6:30pm, Fri 2-6:30pm, Sat, 11am -6:30pm, last entry 5:15pm
  • Ticket Price: Adults AED21 (to full Desert Park), children under 13, resident seniors, POD and one carer free
  • Location: Junction 10, Sharjah Airport/Dhaid Rd E88
  • Dress code: None
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible, accessible toilets, wheelchairs available

See more of the Islamic Botanical Garden here.

Old mosques in the UAE

The oldest known mosque remains are in Al Ain but there are several mosques of around 200 years old across the country. Here are a few you can visit on your road trips across the UAE.

11. Al Bidya Mosque in Fujairah

Al Bidya Mosque is one of Fujairah’s most popular tourist attractions. As one of the oldest known mosques in the UAE and the oldest extant and functioning mosque, it is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Al Bidya Mosque Fujairah

Initial research dated the mosque to approximately 1446, however, more recent testing dates it anywhere between 1450 and 1670 AD/CE.

The architectural design of the mosque is very different from any other in the country. However, larger mosques built in a similar style exist in other countries, such as Oman.

At just 53 m2 (570 ft), the mosque has one hall and can only accommodate a few dozen people. Its most noticeable feature is its four domes, which appear to be different sizes piled upon each other. The mosque is also an imperfect square.

A central pillar supports the roof, flaring out to a diameter of 3.6m (11.8ft) at the top, and arches link the pillar to the walls. The mosque has the usual features of a minbar, mihrab with steps, niches for books and lanterns. It also has decorative grills to allow light to enter and air to circulate.

Traditional materials of bricks of mud and hay, stone and plaster were used to build the mosque and also in the restoration work at the beginning of this century.

The mosque sits below a watchtower built around the same time. The fortress provided a lookout for enemies arriving by sea but also from the mountains and plains behind.

The Hajar Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for the mosque and the watchtower. After your visit, you can enjoy the view even more from the easy hiking trail from the tower.

Things to know before you visit Al Bidya Mosque in Fujairah
  • Opening times: 8am to 6:30pm
  • Ticket Price: free, admission, to grounds only
  • Location: Rugaylat Rd Khorfakkan-Dibba coastal road E87, Al Bidya, Fujairah
  • Dress code: Respectful
  • Accessibility: Accessible

12. Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem Mosque, Ras al Khaimah

The Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem al Qasimi Mosque is thought to date back to late 1700s, however it was restored, renovated and expanded over recent years and reopened a couple of years ago.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem al Qasimi Mosque

The mosque was built from coral and other materials near the sea as were most buildings in coastal settlements at the time and the same materials were used for the recent work. Rather than a minaret, the mosque had a platform with steps in front of the mosque from where the adhan was called.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem al Qasimi Mosque also has an outer courtyard, an arcade with arches and 60 columns in the prayer hall. A separate ladies hall is available for those wishing to pray there.

According to records indicate a mosque first existed on the site in the 1500s and later another mosque was built in the late 1700s but it was then destroyed in the British attacks in the early 1800s. Another mosque was built on the foundations of the previous one.

Although the mosque is not open to visitors, if you’re lucky enough to see the caretaker, he may let you look inside. The best time to try is before noon prayers. You can easily get a good view of the outside of the mosque in any case.

Things to know before you visit Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem Mosque in Ras al Khaimah
  • Opening times: n/a
  • Ticket Price: n/a
  • Location: Old Ras Al Khaimah, near the top of Corniche Rd
  • Dress code: Respectful
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible

13. Bin Sultan Mosque in Masfoot, Emirate of Ajman

The Bin Sultan Mosque was built in 1815 and sits in what is now Masfoot Oasis. With farms on one side and the Hajar mountains on another, it provides the perfect place for quiet prayer and contemplation.

200 year old 
Bin Sultan Mosque Masfoot inside wall and mountains in background

The oldest mosque in Masfoot, Ajman was constructed using traditional materials, including gypsum, clay and palm fronds. It was recently restored and is still functioning for daily prayers but not for congregational prayers such as the Friday prayer.

You can easily see inside from the footpath and if no one is in the mosque, you can look a bit closer. It has a large mihrab but no minaret or minbar. The mosque is completely open so there is no need to go inside. The gate may be locked after the evening prayers.

Things to know before you visit Bin Sultan Mosque in Masfout, Ajman
  • Opening times: n/a
  • Ticket Price: n/a
  • Location: Masfoot Oasis, Masfoot, near Hatta
  • Dress code: Respectful
  • Accessibility: gravel surround and steps

14. Sultan Al Mutawa Mosque, Khorfakkan

The Sultan Al Mutawwa Mosque is around 200 years old and is famous as it appeared on the five dirham note for many years. This has made it a popular spot for people to take a photo holding the bank note with the mosque in the background. A new polymer AED5 note is now in circulation but you can still come across the old one.

sultan al mutawa mosque khorfakkan

Unfortunately, the old mosque wasn’t used for some time and the building was neglected. However, it after being renovated, it reopened in 2011 and was named after the last imam to lead the prayers there – Sultan Al Mutawwa.

The mosque has a distinctive minaret with an arch at the top and set apart from the building. It also has a palm ceiling and a mihrab. It sits right behind the Portuguese Fort near the Heritage Area and regular prayers still take place. You can’t enter unless you’re going to pray but you can walk around the outside.

Another traditional-style mosque in Khorfakkan is at the southern end of the corniche.

Things to know before you visit Sultan Al Mutawwa Mosque in Khorfakkan
  • Opening times: n/a
  • Ticket Price: n/a
  • Location: Khorfakkan Heritage Area
  • Dress code: Respectful
  • Accessibility: small steps at entrance for worshippers

15. Islamic Cultural Events

Apart from the above, there are also annual events celebrating Islamic culture and events. Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival takes place every February and art work is projected onto buildings across the emirate, including some mosques.

dibba al hisn mosque in sharjah light festival

Still in Sharjah, the Islamic Arts Festival runs from December through to January with art work exhibited in various venues across the city and one or two in the other regions.

For a flavour of other events that take place, Dubai holds the Calligraphy Biennale, Fujairah hosts Al Bader Festival honouring the life of the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ around the Prophet’s Birthday and Ras al Khaimah holds Islamic Arts Week around the UNESCO- initiated International Day of Islamic Art.

sharjah islamic arts festival al majaz, Exhibit

Other events include Ramadan and Eid Festival 2024 in Abu Dhabi (Usually at ADNEC), Ramadan Nights Festival in Sharjah, Al Seef Ramadan Art Nights & Lights and Market in Dubai, Hai Ramadan at Expo City Dubai. Although there are many festivals going on during Ramadan and Eid, the focus is often more on culture, shopping and food items.

What to wear to a mosque as a visitor

When visiting a mosque in the UAE, the dress code for both men and women is modest, no tight or transparent clothing and no clothing with slogans or pictures that may be considered offensive.

Men must cover their shoulders and to the knee or below. Ladies should wear full-length clothing, long sleeves and cover their hair. While some locations may be able to provide an abaya, not all do and it may be worth buying a cheap one from local souqs or supermarkets. They will be much cheaper than in most malls and can often be just as pretty.

This useful infographic from Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque explains the rules pretty well.

Infographic on Mosque Manners showing acceptable and unacceptable clothing and listing other rules

You don’t have to wear an abaya but it’s often easier to slip over your regular clothes. A maxi dress and cardigan is also acceptable. If opting for an abaya, make sure it’s a closed style if you’re wearing short clothes.

You will have to remove your shoes before entering a mosque, so shoes that are easy to put on and take off are easiest. You might also consider the state of your socks or feet to avoid any embarrassment!


Exploring Islamic attractions in the UAE gives you a unique opportunity to learn about the region’s rich Islamic history, culture, and art. From the stunning architecture of mosques to the artistic treasures in museums, these sites provide a deeper understanding of contributions of Islam and Muslims to global heritage.

The Museum of Islamic Civilization, for example, gives an insight into the vast contribution to the world of science, mathematics, etc., spanning centuries and regions while festivals and events provide an immersive experience into the world of Islamic art.

These attractions highlight the beauty of Islamic heritage and enhance understanding of the religion and of the diverse aspects of Islamic culture for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

If you liked this post, you might also like Beautiful and Interesting Mosques in the UAE or Seven Best Reasons to Visit Sharjah or Arabic Architecture in Sharjah.

If you enjoy architecture, you may also like to visit Ahmed El Tayab Mosque at the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Khalifa Mosque in Al Ain.


  • abaya – ladies outer gown worn in Gulf states
  • adhan – call to prayer heard five times a day from mosques
  • hadith – narrations of things the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ said or did or responded to
  • imam – leader of the congregational prayer, mosques in the UAE have a full-time imam who lives next to the mosque with his family
  • Kaaba – the building covered with a black and gold cloth in the Sacred Mosque in Makkah
  • mihrab – niche facing the qibla (roughly Makkah) where the imam leads the congregational prayer
  • minaret – tower of mosque, the adhan, or call to prayer, is called from here (or via speakers on minaret)
  • minbar – flight of steps and often a raised platform where the imam gives the khutbah, or sermon, on Fridays and Eid and sometimes give talks
  • pbuh – peace be upon him, prayer said after mentioning the name of a prophet
  • qibla – direction of prayer towards the Kaaba in Makkah
  • shahada – testimony of faith ‘there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His Messenger.’
  • sunnah – the way of Prophet Mohammed ﷺ
  • tarawih – extra prayer during Ramadan, can be prayed at home alone or with others, or in the mosque led by an imam. During this prayer, the Quran is recited over the month.
  • peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said after mentioning the name of the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ

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