Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi UAE
If you’re in the UAE, make sure you take time to visit the iconic landmark of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
A stunning display of architecture and fine craftsmanship, the mosque is the main place of worship in Abu Dhabi and is open to visitors to admire.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque Information
Address: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, UAE
Opening hours: 09:00 – 20:00 daily except Friday mornings. Ramadan times also vary – please check here for timings.
Entrance fee: Free
Tours: Available at different times throughout the day
Dress code: As the Mosque is a place of worship, dress codes are enforced and visitors are requested to wear appropriate clothing. For women, loose full length pants (I was told to roll my pants down to cover my ankles #hipsterstakenote) and a sleeved shirt that covers the chest and shoulders must be worn. A shayla (headscarf) must also be worn. Some guests had their own headscarves, however if you don’t have an abaya or a shayla, there are some available at the mosque to hire. You’ll need to hand in a form of identification in exchange for a numbered card and abaya and your ID will be returned once you return the abaya at the collection point. For males, shorts are not allowed in the mosque and full length pants and a sleeved shirt must be worn. Although I did see some visitors wearing singlets and shorts (understandably as it was 42+ degrees when we visited!), its best to adhere to the dress codes specified to show respect, and avoid an awkward and controversial situation like Riri. Dress codes and manners can be found on the information page.
Inside the mosque
To enter the main prayer hall, you’ll need to remove your shoes and leave them on the numbered shoe racks outside.
Inside the prayer hall is the largest carpet in the world, made entirely out of wool and designed by Persian artist Ali Khaliqi. Three grand swarovski chandeliers shimmer above the main prayer hall, with smaller sized versions hanging above the open prayer halls.
The areas under the chandeliers, inside the pillars and areas with books are sectioned off from guests, although I did visit back in 2011 when it wasn’t yet so you can see what it looks like without the ropes.
Outside the mosque
Outside you’ll find the large open courtyard or ‘sahan’ which is adorned with a floral mosaic, made of marble imported from all over the world. Four large minarets and smaller domes tower over the courtyard.
The courtyard is also restricted from visitors, except for one area roped off for photos ( again, this wasn’t the case in 2011, but with the large amount of visitors, I guess they need to protect it!).
The mosque is bordered by a mirror pool which reflects the pillars in the halls surrounding the mosque halls and perimeter.