Travel Information for Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
When you plan a trip to the United Arab Emirates, make sure to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque – either as a day trip from Dubai or when you plan to stay in Abu Dhabi. Why? Because the Grand Mosque or the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the UAE is probably the most beautiful building I have ever seen. Seriously, no words can describe its beauty.
Though the pictures have not captivated the beauty, I hope you´ll get some travel inspirations and consider visiting it – as a Muslim or non-Muslim, since the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is also open to non-Muslims.
Find out all the important things you need to know before visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Visiting the mosque was one of the first things I did when I arrived in Abu Dhabi, and I was happy that the mosque did not disappoint at all. If you visit Abu Dhabi, this “attraction” should definitely be on your list.
This post gives you all the important information:
- Basic facts
- How to get there (from Dubai or Abu Dhabi)
- Rules at Sheikh Zayed Mosque (how to dress, don´ts, etc.)
- Opening Hours
- Tours of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Facts Sheikh Zayed Mosque
It is now probably one of the most famous Islamic prayer houses in the world. Besides the beautiful symmetry, the white marble and golden elements impress. I would have loved to get on one of the minarets, but this was not allowed for normal guests.
- The Grand Mosque opened in 2007 and can accommodate more than 40,000 worshippers, 10,000 in the internal areas, and 30,000 in the external areas.
- The mosque has four minarets and eighty-two domes.
- The architect of this gorgeous mosque is Yusef Abdelki.
- There is free drinking water and free tours available.
- There are several guided Grand Mosque tours without any extra costs. Unfortunately, these guides are not every hour, and I just missed one.
- Address: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street، – 5th St – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Read More: Sharjah – the less known emirate is another great place to visit in the UAE.
How to Get to Sheikh Zayed Mosque from Abu Dhabi
The mosque is located at “the beginning” of Abu Dhabi. If you come from the Abu Dhabi airport or Dubai, it will be one of the first things you will see. There is a direct bus connection from Abu Dhabi Corniche, but the stop is quite far. It’s probably only 1 km away, but it felt more like 5 km with the heat.
How to Get to Sheikh Zayed Mosque from Dubai
- Buses are going from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and it might be the cheapest way to get there (it is about 100km from Dubai Marina to Grand Mosque).
- Another option to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is to buy a hop-on, and hop-off ticket in Dubai since buses are going to Abu Dhabi as well (a review of the hop-on and hop-off buses in Dubai is here).
- Taking a taxi might be another option since taxis are quite cheap in the United Arab Emirates.
- There are parking options at Sheikh Zayed in front of the mosque if you come in your own car.
If you also have wondered which place is better, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, click here and find out which role the mosque plays in this question.
Rules at Sheikh Zayed Mosque
What to wear at Sheikh Zayed Mosque? Dress code Grand Mosque:
- You can enter the area in your normal clothes. If you want to enter the actual mosque, you have to cover yourself up as a female.
- As a man, your arms and legs also have to be covered.
- You can get appropriate clothes for free (ironed and washed), and there are dressing rooms (the red dress in the pictures were my own outfit).
- Women and men are not allowed to touch each other.
- The guards also forbid me from using my GoPro and its tripod to take pictures.
- You can wear your shoes and only have to take them off when you enter the prayer rooms.
- There are a lot of guards, so you had better stick to the rules.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque Opening Hours
- Open daily, from 9 am to 10 pm. Please check the visitor hours before your visit to make sure it is not closed for any reason.
- The mosque closes every Friday morning to tourists (open only for worshippers) and re-opens in the afternoon.
Best Time to Visit the Grand Mosque
I visited in the morning and would have loved to see it at sunset as well. Most people I asked told me it looks even nice then. If you get the chance, try to visit the mosque twice because I would not have wanted to miss the mosque in the daytime.
If you are not a religious Muslim, I suggest not visiting on a Friday (closed in the morning for the important Friday morning prayers).
Conclusion: Is it Worth Visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque?
I hope the pictures convinced you that it is worth visiting the mosque. I understand people who refrain from visiting religious buildings, but the Grand Mosque is probably the most amazing building, the most beautiful building, and impresses with its colors and gorgeousness.
If you visit Dubai and do not plan to stay in Abu Dhabi for longer, I still think it is worth visiting the mosque and getting here from Dubai. (more pictures below, so keep scrolling down)
- What else to do in Abu Dhabi? Check out this itinerary for your Abu Dhabi trip here.
- Where to stay in Abu Dhabi? Find my tips here.