Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Come and take a tour with me around the stunningly beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and let me tell you what you need to know to plan your visit.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi first opened to visitors in 2007. When I visited at that time, it was quieter and we were able to go inside the halls. Now, as it’s moving high up the list of one of the most visited buildings in the world, a trip there looks quite different.

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The mosque’s architecture is a beautiful blend of various styles, including Fatimid, Ottoman, and Mamluk, featuring intricate Islamic geometric and floral designs and a variety of materials, including Macedonian marble, gold, mosaic tiles, nacre, wood, coloured glass, semi-precious stones and lapis lazuli.

shaikh zayed mosque pillars abu dhabi

Four minarets tower over 100 metres above the mosque and integrate elements of Mamluk, Moroccan, Ottoman, Andalusian and Fatimid styles. At the bottom of one sits the mosque library.

The breathtaking structure includes 1,096 columns and 82 domes. The columns are styled on date palms, which are particularly important to the region.

abu dhabi grand mosque uae

Once you enter the mosque, you’ll walk across marble with intricate flower designs to the central area, where the floor is covered with a magnificent hand-knotted carpet which took no less than two years to design and create and is the largest in the world.

Book a guided tour of Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Qasr Al Watan from Abu Dhabi
Book a full day sightseeing tour of Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Qasr Al Watan from Dubai

Turning your eyes now upward, you’ll see glistening crystal chandeliers adorned with Swarovski crystals, all made by skilled artisans in Germany. The largest of these is an impressive ten metres wide and 15 metres tall!

sheikh zayed mosque swarowski chandelier

Sheikh Zayed Mosque Photography Spots

To see a different view of the mosque, go to the other side near the taxi parking area.

Where to get reflection photos of Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Have you seen those amazing reflection photos of Sheikh Zayed Mosque and wondered where to get them? Head over to Wahat Al Karama, Oasis of Dignity Martyrs’ Memorial. There you can find a shallow pond directly opposite Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

photo of reflection of sheikh zayed mosque in pond at Wahat Al Karama

It’s on the other side of the motorway so you can’t walk there. If you’re already visiting the mosque, there’s a shuttle service between to Wahat Al Karama every 30 minutes between 10am and 7.15pm. Otherwise, drive, take a taxi or a public bus.

sheikh zayed grand mosque reflection photo just before sunset

If you’d like to know more about the architecture of the mosque, you can find much more detail on the architecture page at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque website.

The Mosque and Sheikh Zayed bin Al Nahyan

Although the mosque project was initiated by HH Sheikh Zayed bin Al Nahyan himself, he didn’t live to see the final creation. However, his final resting place is in the mosque courtyard. The first ruler of the UAE was, and still is, loved by many and his fondly referred to as Baba Zayed, or Father Zayed.

Planning your visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi opening hours

  • Saturday to Thursday 9am to 10pm, last entry 9:30pm
  • Fridays 9am to 12pm, last entry 11:30 am, 3pm to 10 pm, last entry 9:30pm
  • Ramadan/Eid – check opening hours online

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi entry and tours

Entrance to the mosque is free, and you can join guided tours, available in English and Arabic throughout the day. You don’t need to book in advance for the tours.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Online Booking

You can book your slot to visit on the official website booking form here.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Dress Code

Visitors should dress appropriately for their visit. Women should cover fully and wear a scarf; men should also wear clothing that covers the upper arms and below the knee. Clothes should not be transparent.

You will not be allowed to enter if you don’t follow the dress code. You can refer to the code on the official website to check what is allowed and what is not.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Photography

Photography is allowed at Sheikh Zayed Mosque but only at specific photo stops. All visitors to the mosque must follow a fixed route through the mosque and keep within the permitted areas. This allows for a better flow of traffic and a better experience for you when touring the mosque with other visitors around.

Don’t worry, they’ve chosen the best spots for you to view and capture the beauty of this iconic mosque!

Wrap up on Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

So we see, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is not just about the stunning architecture, but a blend of culture, spirituality, and history all in one. From the massive carpet to the high minarets and Sheikh Zayed’s peaceful final spot, there’s so much to absorb. Planning your visit is hassle-free and best of all, it’s free. Just remember to dress right to get in.

Don’t miss out on this iconic spot that’s all about bringing people together and celebrating the legacy of HH Sheikh Zayed and the faith of Islam.

If you like this post, you might also like:
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⭐ 15 Best Islamic Attractions in the UAE

FAQs Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

  • When was Sheikh Zayed Mosque built? Construction started in 1996 and finished in 2007.
  • Can you visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi? Yes, you can. See more information in the post above.
  • How to get to Sheikh Zayed Mosque? You can take bus number 94 from Abu Dhabi Central Bus Station by public transport.
  • What is the total area of Sheikh Zayed Mosque? The total area of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhbai is 22,400 square metres or 241,111square feet.
  • What are Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ticket prices? There is no entrance fee to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
  • How much did Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque cost to build? The Abu Dhabi mosque cost around 2 billion UAE dirhams or US$545 million.

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