A trip to Abu Dhabi is not complete without making a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – perhaps the most iconic building in the Emirate. The mosque is absolutely breathtaking and a complete architectural gem. But perhaps you are worried about visiting this Islamic Holy Place? This guide will tell you some of the most amazing facts about the mosque while also providing a practical guide to visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque With Kids or without.
Getting to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
If you are visitor to Abu Dhabi the best way to get to the mosque is via taxi! It is a short journey from the centre of Abu Dhabi and the cost of taxis are relatively low! Taxis will drop you of at the entrance and there is a taxi rank outside so you won’t struggle when leaving.
The mosque is also a stop on the Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour and is another great option for visitors.
Alternatively, if you are a resident and have a car there is ample parking both above and underground.
Best Time to Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
As with any tourist attraction the mosque get very busy! We recommend getting there for opening to make sure you beat the crowds. We walked right in on our visit but by the time we left at around noon the crowds were huge.
Avoid public holidays and weekends too if you need to go in the middle of the day but we warned it will be hot.
Another great time to visit the mosque is for sundown. The golden hour makes the mosque look exceptionally beautiful and is great for photographers.
During the holy month of Ramadan it’s always best to check the schedule as times will vary and the mosque is closed to visitors on a Friday.
What to wear when visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Whenever you are visiting a Muslim country I think the main question you have is regarding dress code.
It is really important to dress modestly! For men it means ankle length trousers – no shorts! For women ankles and arms to wrists must be covered! You will also need to cover your head so make sure you take a pashmina with you to cover your head! Also be sure your closes aren’t tight fitting or low cut.
I wore loose trousers and a blouse which was fine.
If your clothes don’t adhere to the rules though don’t worry there is a free abaya rental in the mosque! We needed this for a member of our group so I joined in too! I actually feel like it was part of the experience. Though I will admit that I was hot in all of the layers.
Small children do not need to adhere to the same regulations however to be respectful I put my little girl in full length bottoms and a light long sleeve t shirt!
Wearing thin layers is definitely key as the mosque is hot even during winter!
Photography at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Photography is permitted but please be respectful in your posing! Rihanna was kicked out of the mosque (rightly so) for inappropriate posing.
Please be respectful of where you are!
Guided Tours of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Guided tours are available daily at the Mosque and do not require advance booking. It is advisable however to check the official Grand Mosque website for tour times in advance of your visit.
Food and drink at the sheikh zayed grand mosque
Food and drink is not permitted at the mosque and will be confiscated at security! Be sure you hydrate before you go.
However if you need food or drink while there there is an outlet of coffee club in the grounds but you will need to stay covered there.
Important Information about Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The mosque is free to enter! The mosque is open 9am to 10pm Saturday to Thursday. It closes on Friday morning for worshippers but visitors can go after 4:30pm. During the holy month of Ramadan it’s always best to check the schedule as times will vary and the mosque is closed to visitors on a Friday.