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Sheikh Zayed Mosque – tickets, timings, guided tours, dress code, what to see

Edited by: Rekha Rajan
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Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the largest mosques globally and can hold more than 40,000 worshippers and visitors simultaneously.

The Grand Mosque’s designers were British, Italian, and Emirati, and they used design elements from Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt, among other Islamic countries. The finished product is a stunning, sparkling architectural masterpiece.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque is also known as the ‘Pearl of the Gulf’ and is in Abu Dhabi, 129 km (80 miles) from Dubai.

This article covers everything you must know before visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

What to expect at Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was constructed as a symbol of tolerance and respect, allowing people of many cultures to appreciate one another better and better understand Islam.

The mosque has a beautiful design incorporating Mamluk, Ottoman, and Fatimid architectural styles.

The mosque is surrounded by several reflective pools that add to its beauty. The pools along the arcades reflect the mosque’s columns, creating stunning visuals, especially at night.

The main prayer hall is an architectural masterpiece that can accommodate over 40,000 worshippers. It is home to the world’s largest chandelier and carpet.

If you are staying in Dubai, you can opt for the full-day Abu Dhabi city tour from Dubai, which includes a visit to the Grand Mosque.  

If you are staying in Abu Dhabi, check out the half-day guided tour of the city, which includes a visit to the mosque.


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Where to book tickets

Tickets for a full-day guided tour from Dubai can be purchased online.

When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.

Because some tours sell a limited number of tickets, during peak days they may sell out.

Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How do online tickets work

Visit the Dubai full-day tour ticket booking page, select your preferred date and number of tickets, and buy the tickets right away.

Once you purchase the full-day Dubai guided tour tickets, they get delivered to your email address.

There is no need to get printouts of the ticket.

You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone to the tour guide and join the group.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque ticket prices

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, often known as the white beauty of the Gulf, is free for all visitors.

Both tourists and locals don’t need to buy any tickets to enter.

However, booking a half-day guided tour will cost you 158 AED (43 USD), and a full-day guided tour from Dubai costs 359 AED (98 USD) per person.

Exploring the Mosque with a guide can lead to a memorable tour because it is a beautifully constructed building, and each wall has a story, and each design an anecdote.


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Sheikh Zayed Mosque guided tours

We have hand-picked two of the best-guided tours to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

All of the tour tickets come with a 24-hour cancellation policy. You can cancel 24 hours before your visit and get a full refund.

Kids three years and below can join for free on all these tours.

Abu Dhabi city tour from Dubai

This small group experience is a perfect tour of Sheikh Zayed Mosque if you stay in Dubai because you don’t have to worry about transportation.

You will travel down the Persian Gulf coast to Abu Dhabi after being picked up from your hotel in Dubai while listening to stories about one of the World’s wealthiest cities.

Visit the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of Abu Dhabi’s most well-known attractions.

Admire the Mosque’s 82 domes, chandeliers, and flower-patterned patterns, all made of white marble.

Then, drive around the Abu Dhabi Corniche for a stunning perspective of the Persian Gulf.

Continue to the luxurious Emirates Palace, the official hotel of Abu Dhabi’s ruling government, and see the clear water of the bay.

The next destination will be the Marina Mall, where you can stop for lunch (at your own expense) and dine at one of the mall’s restaurants or choose from the food court alternatives.

Afterward, go to the majestic Qasr Al Watan Palace, part of the UAE presidential palace compound.

See the palace’s architectural elements, relics, and other historical treasures.

After that, relax and enjoy the ride back to Dubai, where you’ll be dropped off.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (12+ years): 359 AED (98 USD)
Child Ticket (4 to 11 years): 287 AED (78 USD)

If you want privacy during your vacation and the ability to customize the trip, opt for the private full-day tour of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. It will cost you AED 503 for a group of four people.

Half-day guided tour of Abu Dhabi

If you are staying in Abu Dhabi or can manage your transport from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, this 4-hour tour is perfect.

After being picked up from your Abu Dhabi hotel, your guide will drive you to the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

The inner courtyard and minaret, design themes of Naskhi, Thuluth, and Kufic calligraphy, and thin columns mirrored in the lake are just a few of the highlights inside and out.

The drive returns you to the Persian Gulf, where you may marvel at the magnificent developments along the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

Some of the World’s most ultra-modern, stunning skyscrapers and luxurious hotels, such as Emirates Palace, which faces the pristine coastline, will wow you.

Visit Port Zayed’s historic vegetable, date, and fish markets in the city’s northeast.

Port Zayed has been essential in increasing Abu Dhabi’s international trade due to its strategic location in its center.

The journey concludes with a photo opportunity at Heritage Settlement, a desert village that has been recreated.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (11+ years): 158 AED (43 USD)
Child Ticket (3 to 10 years): 126 AED (34 USD)

Sheikh Zayed Mosque + Etihad Towers

This is a small group tour in which you get picked up from your hotel in Dubai and driven to the Grand Mosque in style.

Later, you will see scenic views of the Arabian Gulf while strolling at Abu Dhabi Corniche. You then explore the old Emirati village at the Heritage Village.

A visit to the Marina Mall is followed by a lunch break, after which you visit the observation deck of Etihad Towers (on the 74th floor!).

After you have had your fill of the Abu Dhabi skyline, you get back to Dubai.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (12+ years): 473 AED (129 USD)
Child Ticket (4 to 11 years): 392 AED (107 USD)

Grand Mosque + Louvre Museum

This tour starts from Dubai in an air-conditioned vehicle, and you get to see two of the country’s crowning attractions – the Louvre Museum & the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

First, you see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and then drive to the Louvre Museum on Saadiyat Island.

At the Louvre, you admire classic and modern works of cultural and sociological significance from worldwide for two hours before driving back to Dubai.

An English-speaking guide is with you all through the 9-hour-long guided tour.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (12+ years): 459 AED (98 USD)
Youth Ticket (3 to 11 years): 287 AED (78 USD)

Sheikh Zayed Mosque + Ferrari World

In a way, this tour can even be called the ‘Highlights of Abu Dhabi’ tour.

After getting picked up from Dubai, you first explore the Mosque, Emirates Palace, and the Heritage Village.

After a quick lunch break, you start your second part of the day at the largest indoor theme park in the world – the Ferrari World.

Once you have had your share of adrenalin rush inside the World of Ferrari, you head back to Dubai.

Ticket Prices

Adult Ticket (11+ years): 823 AED (224 USD)
Child Ticket (3 to 9 years): 731 AED (199 USD)


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How to reach Sheikh Zayed Mosque

If you are staying in Abu Dhabi, we suggest taxiing to the Grand Mosque.

The Mosque is 15 km (9.3 miles) from Abu Dhabi city, and a quick 12-minute taxi ride can get you there. Get Directions

Address: Al Rawdah – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates. Get Directions

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Dubai

Although the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is located 129 Km (80 Miles) from Dubai, most tourists visiting Dubai add it to their itinerary because of the excellent connectivity.

You can take a bus, taxi, or a guided tour from Dubai to Sheik Zayed Mosque.

By bus

Buses for Abu Dhabi leave the Al Ghubaiba bus station (Bus no: 44) in Bur Dubai every thirty minutes.

These modern and air-conditioned buses take about two hours to reach the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

By taxi

If you are not on a budget holiday, it is better to take a taxi to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

A taxi covers the distance in around 90 minutes, so you save a half-hour of your precious time.

However, it is a pricey option and will cost you 45 to 50 USD (165 AED to 185 AED) each way.

If you don’t want the hassle of arranging your transport, you can book a half-day tour or a full-day tour of the Mosque, including transportation.

By Car

If you’re traveling by car, turn on Google Maps and get started.

The Mosque has designated parking areas located next to the mosque entrances. These parking spaces are free of charge.

Follow the link for more details on how to go from Dubai to Grand Mosque.


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Sheikh Zayed Mosque timings

Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open from 9 am to 10 pm from Saturday to Thursday.

On Fridays, the Mosque is open from 9 am to 12 pm and reopens from 3 pm to 10 pm.

During Ramadan, Sheikh Zayed Mosque begins at 9 am and closes at 2 pm.

When Ramadan is going on, the Mosque stays closed on Fridays.

Best Tours Rating Cost
Abu Dhabi Premium Sightseeing Tour 4.8/5 AED 359
Half-Day Guided Tour of Abu Dhabi 4.5/5 AED 158
Abu Dhabi Tour + Emirates Palace 4.8/5 AED 473
Grand Mosque + Louvre Museum 4.7/5 AED 359
Sheikh Zayed Mosque + Ferrari World 4.8/5 AED 823

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Best time to visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The best time to visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque is when they open at 9 am or later in the evening during sunset.

Morning or evening visits help you avoid the heat, which can be extreme, especially during the summer months of May to November.

During sunset, the Abu Dabhi Mosque looks stunning.

Sunset at Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The splendor of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque never fails to wow. Image: Goodfon.com

Like any popular tourist attraction, weekends are slightly more crowded than weekdays.

Best time for photography

If you want to take lots of photographs of Sheikh Zayed Mosque, plan your visit at sunset or just before sunset.

The Mosque looks fantastic as the sun shines off the building during the golden hour.


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How long does Sheikh Zayed Mosque take

Most visitors take 90 minutes to two hours to explore Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Guided tours of the Mosque last 60 minutes, after which you can hang around for another 30 to 60 minutes exploring the intricate designs and details.

Due to long queues, you may need half an hour more on weekends and other crowded days.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque is massive, covering over 12 hectares (30 acres), so plan accordingly.


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Sheikh Zayed Mosque at night

The ‘Pearl of Gulf’ is magical during sunset and after dark.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open till 10 pm and attracts many visitors after dark.

The domes and pillars of the Mosque get lit in magical colors depicting the lunar cycle.

The Mosque is enveloped in cold white light on full moon evenings and is washed with a blue light on no-moon evenings.

One can notice seven subtle shifts in color every second evening, moving from deep blue on no moon night to clean white on full moon night.

Visitors who don’t have the time to enter and explore the Grand Mosque at night decide to drive by and enjoy its beauty.


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Dress code for Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Apart from being a tourist attraction, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an active religious place where people worship.

All visitors must follow the Mosque’s conservative dress code regardless of faith.

Men must not reveal any flesh above their knees and cover their shoulders.

While visiting the Mosque, women must not wear pants, shorts, or skirts that end above the ankle.

Female visitors must cover their heads and hair with a headscarf.

Don’t worry if you land at the Mosque without adhering to the dress code.

The organizers provide ‘Abayas’ free of cost to its female visitors.

However, no clothes are supplied to the men.

All visitors are requested to remove their shoes before entering the Mosque.


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What to see at Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Although the fairy-tale structure catches your eye when you step in, there are certain must-sees you can’t miss.

Sheikh Zayed Mausoleum

The Mosque is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was well known for uniting the Emirates and forming what is now known as the United Arab Emirates.

Known as the pushing force behind the changing landscape of the Gulf, Sheikh Zayed died in 2004. Three years later, the Grand Mosque was completed.

He lies buried in a Mausoleum on the north side of the Mosque.

The Central Courtyard

The Grand Mosque’s dominating feature is its central courtyard.

The gleaming white courtyard lined by reflecting pools was inspired by Pakistan’s Badshahi Mosque and Morocco’s Hassan II Mosque.

Standing in the middle of the courtyard, you can view the architectural marvels of the Mosque borrowed from different countries and cultures.

The courtyard alone can hold 30,000 believers and is guarded by four 107 Meters (351 feet) high minarets inspired by three different civilizations: Egyptian, North African, and Turkian.

The Foyer

While entering the Foyer, one must adhere to the Mosque’s dress code.

The Foyer has an onion-top dome with a verse of the Koran calligraphed around it.

Each verse letter is painted with a gold leaf and written in a popular style called An-Naskh.

Apart from the gold calligraphy, the Foyer is also jeweled with one of the seven giant chandeliers.

The chandelier is held overhead by steel cables and complements the beauty of the Foyer.

Main Prayer Hall

Main Prayer Hall of Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Image: DotShock

The mosque’s main prayer hall is a hangar-sized room divided into two for separate genders. It can hold 10,000 worshipers.

Ninety-six columns adorned with semi-precious stones support the roof.

The room is fully air-conditioned, with the area around every column conditioned by an AC the size of a mini-bus.

Chandeliers

Sheikh Zayed Mosque has seven grand chandeliers weighing eight to 12 metric tonnes.

Steel cables holding up to 36 tonnes of weight support each chandelier.

The seven chandeliers in the Grand Mosque hold almost 40 million Swarovski crystals.

The grand chandelier in the Main Prayer Hall of Sheikh Zayed Mosque is 10 meters (32 feet) in diameter and 15 meters (49 feet) tall.

Chandelier in Main Prayer Hall of Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The grand chandelier in the Main Prayer Hall of Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Image: Wondermondo.com

At a weight of 9 tonnes, it is one of the heaviest Chandeliers in the World.

The date palm tree inspires this chandelier, a standard feature of the region.

The Main Prayer Hall chandelier is made of stainless steel and brass and bathed with 40 kg of 24-carat gold.

World’s largest carpet

The largest carpet in the world lines Sheikh Zayed Mosque’s Prayer Hall.

It is made primarily of wool imported from New Zealand and takes 16 months to weave.

The carpet, made by a third-generation carpet master from Iran, was delivered in nine pieces in two jumbo jets.

One thousand two hundred artisans worked on the hand-knotted carpet, which, when unrolled, covers 5,700 sqm.

Wall of Allah

The Qibla wall facing Mecca is engraved with 99 names that Muslims attribute to God in Arabic calligraphy.

The engravings are highlighted by subtle fiber-optic lighting.

The semi-circular niche is adorned with 24-carat gold and complements the beauty of the Grand Mosque.

Reflective Pools

Reflective Pool at Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Image: Andrew Moore

Around the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, many pools are lined with reflecting tiles.

These pools get lit at night with a magical floodlight, which further enhances the beauty of the Mosque.

Thousands of visitors photograph the pools yearly to win the Spaces of Light photo competition.

The calm waters of these pools match perfectly with the peaceful environment of the Mosque itself.

Sources
# Wikipedia.org
# Visitabudhabi.ae
# Abudhabiculture.ae
# Tripadvisor.com

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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