Madinat Zayed Area Guide 2024

Dictricts Madinat Zayed Area Guide 2024
~12 min


Madinat Zayed holds a prominent position as the largest city and the administrative hub of Al Dhafra, the expansive westernmost region within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This vibrant township, founded in 1968 by the esteemed Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE, has grown significantly over the years. In the 2005 census, Madinat Zayed recorded a population of 29,095, underscoring its significance in the demographic landscape of the area.

History of Madinat Zayed

The roots of Madinat Zayed trace back to 1968 when the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, who assumed rulership of the Abu Dhabi Emirate in 1966, embarked on a visionary journey to leverage the oil revenues for the betterment of his people. Recognizing the need for new urban centers, Sheikh Zayed directed his emissaries to explore suitable locations in what is now known as Al Garbia, the Western Region of the UAE.

The chosen area, Madinat Zayed, formerly Bida Zayed, emerged as a pivotal point for development. Surveyors identified a reliable source of clean water, laying the foundation for the city's growth. In the 1950s, the region had been surveyed for hydrocarbon deposits, leading to the establishment of oil and gas installations in nearby locations such as Bu Hasa, Asab, and Sahil. However, Madinat Zayed stood relatively undeveloped with limited infrastructure.

Following the identification of a water source, the city witnessed rapid development. Sheikh Zayed's vision materialized as a small hospital, a school, a mosque, and 30 houses were constructed. Madinat Zayed quickly evolved into the administrative center for the Western Region, serving as a hub for governance and community life. Today, it hosts a spectrum of government offices, including the Emirates Identity Authority and the Department of Economic Development.

Geography and Environment

Nestled 180 km (110 mi) southwest of Abu Dhabi, Madinat Zayed boasts a distinctive physical layout characterized by its strategic location—situated 50 km (31 mi) from the coast. The town is intricately connected by the principal road, E45, which links it to the E11 in the north and the Liwa Oasis in the south. Another significant thoroughfare leads to Ghayathi, contributing to the town's accessibility and connectivity.

For those seeking the warmest time to visit Madinat Zayed, August and July stand out as the hottest months, followed closely by September. During early August, temperatures regularly soar to around 111.8°F (44.3°C), with nighttime temperatures rarely dropping below 86.4°F (30.2°C). This climatic pattern shapes the town's environment, influencing daily life and contributing to its unique charm.

Key Attractions

  1. City Mall. A bustling shopping destination, City Mall in Madinat Zayed offers a diverse retail experience. From international brands to local treasures, visitors can explore a wide range of products, making it a vibrant hub for shopping enthusiasts.

  2. Madinat Zayed Park. Nature enthusiasts and families alike can unwind at Madinat Zayed Park. With green spaces, recreational facilities, and a serene atmosphere, the park provides a refreshing retreat for residents and visitors seeking relaxation.

  3. Al Dhafra Shooting Club. For those with an interest in sports and recreational activities, the Al Dhafra Shooting Club offers a unique experience. Visitors can engage in shooting sports, enjoy professional facilities, and partake in events organized by the club.

Some tips for visiting include

  • Best Time to Visit. The ideal time to explore Madinat Zayed and its attractions is during the milder months when temperatures are more comfortable. Consider planning your visit between October and April to make the most of outdoor activities.

  • Ticket Information. While Madinat Zayed Park and City Mall typically do not have entrance fees, it's advisable to check for any specific charges or promotions. Al Dhafra Shooting Club may have varying ticket options, so visitors should inquire about pricing and packages based on their interests.

Culture and Lifestyle

Madinat Zayed embraces a rich tapestry of local culture, rooted in the traditions of the UAE. The city, situated in the western region of Abu Dhabi, reflects a lifestyle that seamlessly combines modernity with the heritage of the region.

Residents of Madinat Zayed take pride in preserving their cultural identity through various means. Traditional values are interwoven into daily life, influencing everything from social interactions to family dynamics. The city serves as a microcosm of the broader Emirati culture, fostering a sense of community and shared heritage.


  1. Asian International Private School LLC. Committed to academic excellence, the Asian International Private School LLC in Madinat Zayed provides a comprehensive learning environment. The school is known for its multicultural approach, fostering an inclusive atmosphere where students from various backgrounds can thrive.

  2. ADNOC Schools, Madinat Zayed. Aligned with the high standards set by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), ADNOC Schools in Madinat Zayed offer quality education from primary to secondary levels. The institution is dedicated to equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed for future success.

  3. Al Tomouh Private School. With a focus on holistic development, Al Tomouh Private School in Madinat Zayed emphasizes both academic and extracurricular activities. The school strives to create a supportive learning environment that encourages students to explore their interests and talents.

  4. Al Kamael School. Recognized for its commitment to providing a well-rounded education, Al Kamael School in Madinat Zayed emphasizes academic achievement and character development. The institution aims to prepare students for the challenges of the future while instilling values that contribute to their overall growth.

Medical Facilities

  1. Al Dhafrah Hospitals are equipped to provide a wide range of medical services. From specialized treatments to emergency care, the hospital plays a pivotal role in catering to the health needs of the community.

  2. Al Dhafra Family Medicine Center. Focused on preventive and primary healthcare, the Al Dhafra Family Medicine Center in Madinat Zayed emphasizes comprehensive medical services for families. The center is a hub for general health check-ups, vaccinations, and family-oriented medical care.

  3. Eva Medical Center in Madinat Zayed is a healthcare facility that combines expertise with a patient-centric approach. The center offers a spectrum of medical services, ensuring accessibility to healthcare for residents in the city.

  4. Al Dhafra Modern Medical Centre. Committed to modern and advanced medical practices, Al Dhafra Modern Medical Centre in Madinat Zayed is a beacon of healthcare excellence. The center is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, providing specialized medical services to the community.

Accommodation Options

Madinat Zayed offers a limited yet diverse range of accommodation options, catering to the needs of residents and visitors alike. While the city may not have an extensive selection, the available choices provide comfort and convenience.


  1. Western Hotel. As one of the primary hotel options in Madinat Zayed, Western Hotel offers a comfortable stay with modern amenities. Conveniently located, it provides easy access to the city's key attractions and business centers.

  2. Tilal Liwa Hotel. Situated in proximity to Madinat Zayed, Tilal Liwa Hotel offers a tranquil retreat in the desert landscape. This hotel is an excellent choice for those seeking a blend of luxury and natural surroundings.

  3. Mirfa Hotel. For those looking to explore beyond Madinat Zayed, Mirfa Hotel, located nearby, provides an additional option. With its coastal setting, it offers a serene escape from the bustling city life.


Madinat Zayed features several buses and bus stations, providing a convenient and cost-effective mode of public transportation within the city. These buses facilitate travel to various parts of Madinat Zayed, enhancing connectivity for commuters.

  1. Bus Connectivity. Utilizing the local bus services is an efficient way to explore Madinat Zayed and its neighboring areas. The presence of multiple bus stations ensures that residents and visitors have convenient access to public transportation.

  2. Bus Route X60. For those traveling to Madinat Zayed from Abu Dhabi, the X60 bus offers a viable option, taking approximately 4 hours. This service provides a scenic journey, allowing passengers to experience the landscape en route to the city.

  3. Taxi and Cars. Alternatively, for a quicker commute, taxis and private cars provide a faster mode of transportation, reducing travel time to approximately 1.5 hours. This option is particularly convenient for those seeking a more direct and time-efficient journey.

Special Events

  1. Al Dhafra Festival. Nestled at the edge of the Rub’ Al Khali (Empty Quarter) desert, the Al Dhafra Festival stands as a vibrant celebration of community and the enduring cultural practices that have shaped Bedouin life for generations. The festival is a captivating display of tradition, bringing together locals and visitors to witness and participate in various cultural activities.

  2. Camel Beauty Contests (Mazayna). At the heart of the Al Dhafra Festival are the mazayna, camel beauty contests that draw participants from tens of thousands of camels across the Arabian Peninsula. These contests highlight purebred breeds from the Asayel (pedigree) and Majaheem (dark-skinned) lineages, emphasizing the significance of camels in Bedouin heritage.

Practical Information

  1. Currency. The official currency in Madinat Zayed is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). It is advisable to exchange currency at local banks or authorized exchange offices for the most favorable rates.

  2. Language. Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas and tourist establishments. This linguistic diversity contributes to a welcoming and inclusive environment.

  3. Time Zone. Madinat Zayed operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), which is UTC+4.

  4. Local Customs. Respect for local customs and traditions is important. Modest clothing is recommended, especially in religious and cultural sites. Public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum.

Safety Considerations and Emergency Contact Information

  1. Emergency Services. In case of emergencies, the general emergency number in the United Arab Emirates is 999. This number connects you to police, ambulance, and fire services.

  2. Healthcare. Medical facilities, including Al Dhafrah Hospitals, Al Dhafra Family Medicine Center, Eva Medical Center, and Al Dhafra Modern Medical Centre, ensure healthcare services. It's advisable to have travel insurance covering medical expenses.

  3. Transportation Safety. If using public transportation, be aware of bus schedules and routes. When taking taxis, ensure they are authorized. For personal vehicles, follow traffic rules and regulations.

  4. Cultural Sensitivity. Madinat Zayed values cultural sensitivity. Familiarize yourself with local customs, particularly during religious events and festivals, to ensure a respectful and harmonious experience.


Madinat Zayed stands as a multifaceted city, blending its role as the administrative center and capital city of the westernmost and largest region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The city's vibrant atmosphere is complemented by essential amenities, providing residents with diverse household goods. The strategic positioning of Madinat Zayed offers a unique view and access to a wealth of opportunities, whether one is seeking a peaceful residential haven in villas or exploring modern flats and the array of shopping options, including malls and hypermarkets.

Madinat Zayed invites individuals to choose their experience, be it a tranquil home surrounded by picturesque views or an exciting trip to explore the mosques and numerous places offering groceries and other essentials. The city's appeal extends beyond its geographical boundaries, making it a compelling place to call home or visit. In the heart of this vibrant landscape, Madinat Zayed beckons, encouraging individuals to explore and discover the unique blend of tradition and modernity that defines this captivating city in the western reaches of the UAE.


  • 1.

    How to get to Madinat Zayed from Dubai?

    Begin your journey by heading southwest on Sheikh Zayed Road (E11) from Dubai. Continue on E11, passing through Abu Dhabi. Follow the road signs leading to Madinat Zayed, which is approximately a 2-hour and 38-minute drive, depending on traffic conditions. Enjoy the scenic landscapes along the way, and you'll arrive at Madinat Zayed, the capital city and administrative center of the westernmost region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

  • 2.

    Which region is Madinat Zayed?

    Madinat Zayed is located in the westernmost region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

  • 3.

    Is Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre located in Madinat Zayed?

    No, Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre is not located in Madinat Zayed. It is situated in the City of Zayed region in Abu Dhabi.

  • 4.

    What is the population of Madinat Zayed?

    In 2005, the population of Madinat Zayed was recorded at 29,095 residents. Please note that more recent population figures may be available for a more up-to-date assessment.

  • 5.

    What are the notable attractions and shopping options in Madinat Zayed?

    Madinat Zayed offers a diverse range of attractions, including picturesque views from residential villas, and modern flats. The city offers malls, mosques, souks, and hypermarkets like LuLu Hypermarket, providing an array of choices for residents and visitors alike.

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Update date: 06/24/2024