girl standing in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi: The Ultimate Guide

Are you planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates? And wondering if you should include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in your itinerary?

To be honest, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

Even if you’re not religious, you can truly appreciate the beauty of this place of worship. It’s not often that a sight will impress you as much as this mosque will.

In this travel guide, you’ll read how to get to here, when it’s open, how to dress and all the information you need to have an amazing visit.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque Abu Dhabi

Key takeaways

  • The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an iconic Abu Dhabi landmark that took 11 years to build and is the third largest mosque in the world.
  • There’s no entrance fee.
  • Dress code requires modest outfits; women must wear headscarves.
  • Aside from admiring its architecture, visitors can learn about its cultural and religious importance.

Essential information about the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

So, what should you know about the third largest mosque in the world? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

History and construction

The construction of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque began in 1994 and concluded in 2007, evolving into a grand symbol of Abu Dhabi. It stands as one of the largest mosques globally, made evident by its staggering measurements – approximately 290 by 420 meters.

man taking pictures of majestic mosque in Abu Dhabi

This large architectural masterpiece took over a decade to build. The design incorporates magnificent Moroccan artwork in its interiors, adding a touch of elegance to this iconic site.

A notable feature is the mosque’s white domes—82 in total—all covered with beautiful white marble that enhances its aesthetics while paying homage to traditional Islamic architecture.

Outside of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Dimensions and statistics

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an architectural wonder in terms of its dimensions and statistics. Its grandeur and immensity are reflected in the fact that it holds multiple Guinness World Records and is the largest mosque in the UAE. Here is a breakdown of the key data:

Number of Domes82
Height of Largest Dome85 meters
Diameter of Largest Dome32.8 meters
Accommodation CapacityOver 40,000 worshipers
Guinness World RecordsLargest handwoven carpet and the biggest chandelier

This amazing structure offers you a glimpse of the religious artistry and architectural magnificence of the Islamic world. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an absolute must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates beauty, art, culture and spirituality.

girl in front of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Visiting hours and admission

Planning a visit to the stunning Sheikh Zayed Mosque requires some essential information. Let’s break down the most important practical information:

  • Normal visiting hours are from Saturday to Thursday 09:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Last admission at 09:30 pm)
  • On Friday the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open from 09:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Last admission at 11:30 AM) and reopens from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Last admission at 09:30 PM).
  • Benefit from free guided tours offered by the mosque; it’s an excellent opportunity to learn about Islamic architecture and Emirati culture.
  • Tours start on the East side of the mosque. Ask the staff where and when the tours start. These tours take around 30-45 minutes in total.
  • Dress appropriately during your visit — cover your shoulders, ankles, arms and legs just in case. Women must remember to wear a headscarf.
  • There’s no entrance fee to this grand mosque.
  • Don’t put your arms up in the air when visiting the mosque, as this is seen as disrespectful.
White mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

How to get to the mosque

Getting to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque requires a bit of planning and understanding of the local transportation system. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Determine your starting point.
  2. Check whether public transport is available from your location.
  3. If you’re coming from Dubai, consider taking a taxi or renting a car for convenience.
  4. Another option from Dubai is to take the E100 bus which departs from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, but remember that it runs only every couple of hours.
  5. Once you reach Abu Dhabi’s central bus station, you can take either a taxi or city bus number 32 to get to the mosque.
  6. If you decide to drive, make sure your GPS is set to ‘Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’ in Abu Dhabi.
Walking to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Dress code and appropriate clothing

Non-muslims can visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque as well, however do keep in mind that this is a religious site and you should dress accordingly. If you don’t dress appropriately, there’s a possibility that you might be refused entry.

Wear a shawl to cover your hair, wear long sleeves, long trousers and make sure that your ankles and wrists are covered just in case.

girl in front of mosque

This iconic place of worship in the United Arab Emirates requires both men and women to cover their arms and legs fully.

It’s crucial that no skirts or shorts are shorter than ankle-length, even for men. Maintaining modesty is key so transparent clothing or anything too snug should be avoided.

Men often show respect by wearing traditional dishdashas, but casual clothing meeting the requirements is acceptable as well.

Respecting these guidelines ensures the best experience while appreciating Islamic architecture at one of the largest mosques worldwide.

what to wear at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Is it worth visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque?

In short, it’s definitely worth visiting this majestic mosque. Read on to find out why and decide for yourself if it’s truly worth a visit.

Beautiful architecture

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is such an amazing place to visit because of its stunning design and intricate details. Architect Yousef Abdelky drew inspiration from Persian, Mughal, and Moorish architecture, shaping a masterpiece that stands as an icon in Abu Dhabi.

Its vibrant white color has earned the mosque the title ‘White Pearl of the Gulf’. The large dome at its center is surrounded by dozens of smaller domes, columns inlaid with precious stones like mother-of-pearl and lapis lazuli and hand-made crystal chandeliers gracing the interior.

It took around 11 years to construct this architectural marvel which mirrors different historical periods and merges various cultures brilliantly into one form.

This culmination of styles makes the mosque one of United Arab Emirates’ most breathtaking landmarks.

Beautiful insides of the mosque in Abu Dhabi

Cultural and religious significance

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque serves as a beautiful religious sight, drawing the eyes and hearts of people from all over the world, regardless of their religion.

Its pillars stand tall not only in design but also in symbolism, highlighting the deep cultural richness and diverse Islamic traditions within the United Arab Emirates.

This grand mosque showcases intricate Islamic architecture to reflect spiritual values considered integral by its creators.

Going beyond being just an architectural masterpiece, this largest mosque is known for fostering mutual respect and understanding between various cultures and religions. It has found resonance among people, irrespective of their faith or nationality.

The central prayer hall embodies openness inviting everyone to appreciate its magnificence while fostering spirituality which underscores why it’s such a beloved landmark globally.

architecture of mosque

Accommodations near the Sheikh Zayed Mosque

There are a couple of accommodations close to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. These places give you easy access to this magical site.

Where to stay nearby?

Staying close to the mosque not only provides convenience but also lets you soak in the magical architectural beauty at any time of the day. Consider hotels near Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center for easy access to the mosque.

For a unique stay very close to this magical mosque, have a look at ERTH Hotel. This is one of the best and most luxurious hotels in Abu Dhabi. Click here to book this hotel and find out whether it has any availability.

Another hotel near to the mosque is the Ritz-Carlton. If you’re looking for a hotel with a large swimming pool, spa, super service and a private beach, then this is a great choice.

Nearby attractions

You’ll find more than just the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. This city offers a variety of attractions that will surely make your trip memorable.

  • For art, visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It’s a world class museum showcasing works from all periods and civilizations.
  • Explore Qasr Al, another magnificent display of Islamic architecture. A full day trip would offer you a detailed understanding of this historic destination.
  • Make time to visit the Heritage Village. Experience traditional Arabic living firsthand in this recreated village.
outside the mosque

In conclusion

Exploring the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is is without a doubt one of the best things to do in the United Aram Emirates. It’s not a sight you will easily forget, as it’s truly one of a kind. Immerse yourself in its rich history and you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of Abu Dhabi’s cultural treasures.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience one of the world’s grandest mosques. Plan your visit now and witness the architectural beauty of Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

Away with Danae

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