The Sheikh Zayed Mosque (SZM) was built in memory of the late ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This mosque is considered the largest religious building in the Middle East, and it has a total area of around 3 million square feet.
It is the only mosque in the UAE that has its museum, making it best places to visit in Abu Dhabi. Visitors usually go there to get away from the heat during the summertime. In addition, this mosque attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Therefore, it is not recommended for women and children to visit the SZM alone. Women must wear full-length trousers or skirts when they enter the SZM. The same applies to men who are wearing shorts or jeans. They can be arrested if found violating these rules.
1. Getting To Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
If you stay in Abu Dhabi, getting to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is easy, and we recommend you take a taxi when in Abu Dhabi. However, if you are coming from Dubai, hiring a taxi can be a cost-intensive affair as you have to cover a distance of 150 km approximately. Chartering a bus is easy and affordable.
Hiring a 4-star taxi is convenient, though, and it will cost you around 275 AED each way from Dubai. So depending on your budget and choice, you can choose the mode of transportation. And if you coming from Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, it is just 20 minutes-drive away.
2. Have Breakfast Before You Go
It is highly recommended to have a proper breakfast before leaving your hotel to leave for the place. There are not many eateries or coffee shops where you can munch as you like, and breakfast is the critical meal of the deal to keep you charged for the day to visit and explore the serene views of the mosque. We checked on the map and found that the coffee club available is down the big roads and not much convenient to access. Especially, if you are on a full day tour to Abu Dhabi, it is important to have a heavy breakfast to keep up charged for the whole day.
3. It's Free To Enter The Sheikh Zayed Mosque
THat's the best part of vising this mosque in Abu Dhabi. Unlike many attractions where you need to pay for entry, the mosque entrance is free. You can also avail of the free guided tour lasting for 45-60 minutes to know more about the mosque's historical relevance, architecture, and other essential aspects.
The mosque is huge and well maintained. There are plenty of people inside and out, but they aren't too loud or obnoxious. The tour guides are friendly and knowledgeable about the history of Islam in the United Arab Emirates.
4. Sheikh Zayed Mosque Opening Timings
Sunday - Thursday - 9 AM to 10 PM
Friday - 4:30 PM to 10 PM.
We recommend you to visit here on weekends to avoid crowds. However, the mosque is large enough to accommodate big gatherings, so you will not feel crowded. The opening timings are changed during the Ramadan period as follows:
Saturday to Thursday: 9 AM to 2 PM
The tours are only allowed at 10 AM when the mosque is open.
5. Best Time of Day to Visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque
You can visit the mosque any time as prescribed for the respective days. But we recommend you to visit early morning or late evening to avoid the scorching sun. As the mosque is counted among the best places to experience sunset and sunrise in Abu Dhabi, you must take your camera along. We recommend visiting before sunset for an exciting photographic session as the mosque looks very beautiful during these golden hours.
6. Dress Appropriately
Visiting the mosque is a religious experience, and thus you should wear clothes that you would typically wear while visiting mosques or temples. It's always better for men to wear long pants and shirts with sleeves, and women should cover their arms and legs. They generally have a black Abya for women, free of charge.
On arrival, women can change their outfits if not suitable for the mosque. Wearing a headscarf is also mandatory for women visiting the mosque. It would help if you were prepared to walk barefoot as the slippers are not allowed within the premises. It is one of the reasons why we recommend visiting the mosque early morning or late evening, as the floor will be scorching in the scorching heat of summers. So, it won't be easy to walk barefoot.
7. Count On Your Sunglasses
As you may encounter the intense sun on your return when you visit the mosque early morning, we suggest you be prepared for it. Bring your sunglasses and a sunscreen lotion to save you from the harsh UV sun rays. Sunglasses will not only soothe your eyes but also keep you from blinding from the excessive sunlight.
8. What To Expect On Your Tour?
As mentioned earlier, the mosque is quite large, and there are lots of things to see in it. So, if you want to get all the details about the mosque, then it is
It is advisable to bring water bottles for yourself to drink during the tour.
9. Consider The Free Guided Tour
As we mentioned earlier, a free guided tour is available to take you through the mosque. You can avail of it at various times of the day. So, consider reaching the mosque in time when the guided tour starts. Else, you have to wait for the next term, or you may walk around exploring on your own. But, the tour is worthwhile and unveils many aspects about the mosque which you could be interested in.
10. Enjoy It!
Being one of the most significant mosques with incredible history, it is worth exploring and enjoying the tour to The Sheikh Zayed Mosque In Abu Dhabi. Be respectful and explore more about the Islamic culture here. Don't forget to capture these memorable moments on your camera.
Interesting facts about the Grand Mosque, The Grand Mosque, are an active worship place. It is used by Muslims daily. There are many different types of people attending the mosque, and people come from all over the world to pray there. During the day, many other activities are going on inside the mosque. The mosque is lit up with lights at night, and people congregate outside to watch the fireworks.
It can accommodate 10000 visitors in the internal area and 31000 visitors in its external area. During Eid and Ramadan, the mosque touches its capacity due to huge crowds visiting here.
There were more than 38 contractors who worked on the building of the palace. Thousands of workers from around the globe were involved in completing different aspects of the construction. The architecture is a combination of Mamluke, Ottoman, and Fatimite styles. The result is simply stunning. The palace holds many "largest in the world" claims to fame, including the largest hand-woven carpet at 5,627 square meters and the giant marble mosaic at 17,000 square meters.
Some survey ranks the Grand Mosque as the 2nd most famous landmark in the World, only behind Machu Picchu in Peru.
11. General Tips For Visiting The Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque
Entrance is free, but you must go through security screening.
There is a dressing room available before entering the mosque grounds. Women can hire an abaya or Shayla free of charge here. Male visitors with short pants above the knee may also need to employ a kandura - white long-sleeve robe.
Try and arrive early as there are often queues.
Free guided tours are conducted in English or Arabic by Emirati volunteers who will talk you through many significant architectural features of the mosque and answer any of your questions.
Visitors must be present by 3.30 pm on Fridays, or they will miss seeing the mosque close to prayer times. Audio guides are available for free.
No food or drink is allowed inside the mosque, but you're free to feed your child outside the central courtyard.
You can stay at any hotel within walking distance, including the Ritz-Carlton, Hilton Capital Grand, Holiday Inn, and Oasis Hotel.
12. Tip for Photographing the Grand Mosque
Respectful of where you are at any given time. Group photos are forbidden, and Selfies should be kept to a minimum. Don't wear anything revealing under your abaya. Be there early enough to avoid being caught by security guards.
A reflection pond catches the light at its best. The details of this architecture are unique, and the light plays around the details of the building. This photo was taken during the evening hours.
Wahat al-Karama is an excellent place to take pictures. You can either walk over the bridge across the highway or drive your car over the bridge. There is a mosque nearby which is worth visiting.
You can also get fog in the winter, making excellent moody photos but challenging to predict and catch.
Be careful when taking pictures during the summer months because the heat makes the air very humid. Keep your lens cap on until you're ready to take a picture.
Don't let other people see your pictures unless they permit you first. Ladies shouldn't be photographed without permission.
13. Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi for the Best Views of the Grand Mosque?
The Ritz Carlton is the closest hotel to the mosque. It's a great place to stay if you're looking for a comfortable hotel with excellent service and amenities. The view of the mosque from the Ritz Carlton is fantastic!
When staying at this hotel, you may pay more for a waterside or mosque view room, but waking up to this breathtaking scenery is entirely worth it!
It is hard not to fall in love with this beautiful city. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque has a lot going for it: history, architecture, culture, and religion. Visiting the mosque is a truly unique experience, especially if you've never been to one before.
Are you ready to collect your ticket to Abu Dhabi to visit this amazing place?