Konrad and I have been to Dubai six years ago and we didn’t manage to visit Abu Dhabi back then. Since then the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been on our bucket list and every time I saw one of the amazing pictures on Instagram or in a travel magazine I was telling Konrad that we have to go there. A few weeks ago we finally managed to travel to Abu Dhabi and visit this stunning location. A blog post with our full Abu Dhabi itinerary is coming soon.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the 8th biggest mosque in the world and features 82 domes, more than 1000 columns and 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers.
I’ve read many recommendations about visiting the Mosque upfront, but unfortunately we didn’t find all the necessary details we wanted to know. Especially the right time to visit this place was a tricky one. So we tried to summarize all you need to know for your perfect visit of of one the most stunning places we’ve ever been to – follow us to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
- Opening hours: Saturday – Thursday daily from 9am – 22pm, on Friday from 4.30pm-22pm. Please check the official Visit Abu Dhabi for any changes or opening hours during Ramadan.
- You don’t have to pay an entrance fee and you can stay as long as you want.
- You can take a free guided tour to explore the Mosque. Have a look at the official tour hours at the official website of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center.
- At the location of the Mosque there are no shops, restaurants or other facilities. The easiest way to get there is by taxi. In front of the Mosque is a taxi drop off location where you can easily get a taxi when you want to leave again.
- Dress code: Women have to cover their legs, arms and head to enter the Mosque. You can either wear your own clothes or you get an Abaya (dress) when you are entering the site. You can choose between two colors: the one I’m wearing in the pictures and a light blue. Men have to wear long trousers as well.
The Abaya comes in two colors: rosé beige and light blue
- Once you’re entering the Mosque itself you have to take of your shoes and leave them in special shoe racks. The floor can be super cold so bring some socks if you don’t want to freeze.
No shoes allowed inside the Mosque
- Bring some sunnies: especially around noon the sun can be very strong in Abu Dhabi and the white shiny surface of the Mosque does reflect the sunlight a lot.
- Best time to visit: no matter when you will be visiting the Mosque, it will be crowded most of the time. But: in this case it doesn’t really matter, because you will always find a spot with no people in it. How is it possible? Besides 2 dedicated areas it is not allowed to step on the ground in the middle of the Mosque. So you get the guarantee that nobody will bomb your picture. We decided to visit this place twice: during sunset (in February the sunset was around 5.30 pm, so we were there at 4 pm until sunset) and during the day (around 11am – you know us guys, we always try to be early birds, but in this case we needed some sun to get the shiny bright white surface in its full beauty, that’s why we went a bit later not at 9 am when the Mosque opens) . If you have the time we would recommend to do it as well, because the light during sunset was magical, but during the day you are able to get more of the pure white magic of this place. But see for yourself and tell us which pictures you like more!
Golden hour at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque
- The perfect picture: don’t be fooled by most of the pictures, including some of our pictures as well 🙂 Most of the pictures are taken in dedicated areas (mentioned above). There are two areas, one right at the entrance and one at the left side, both are marked with a barrier. So you need a bit of Photoshop or Touch Retouch (this app will change your life) magic to get the perfect picture.
You can see both marked areas on this picture. The picture was taken from the area at the left side of the Mosque, on the right side of the picture you can see the area right at the entrance.
Konrad is walking inside the dedicated area on the left side of the Mosque
You need a bit of magic to get rid of the barrier 🙂
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is for sure one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been to. It’s full of magic and its beauty is mesmerizing. You have to see it for yourself and we hope that our recommendations will help you to experience an unforgettable visit.
See you soon Abu Dhabi!