The Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque is definitely one of the most beautiful religious structures I’ve ever visited. The place looks like from a different reality and you can feel like a character from a fairy tale. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, completed in 2007. The details as well as the craftsmanship are stunning. The ivory white architecture matches perfectly with a blue sky and leaves you speechless. The place is spectacular and a must see on your bucket travel list!
Interesting facts about the place:
- There are seven chandeliers in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, all imported from Germany and all containing Swarovski crystals
- The largest chandelier in the mosque is the third largest chandelier in the world.
- There are 96 columns in the main prayer hall, inlaid with mother of pearl and marble.
- The carpet in the main hall is the largest carpet in the world. It has 60,500 square feet and contains over 2 billion knots!
- The world’s largest marble mosaic is in the courtyard surrounded by four minarets. It measures an astounding 180,000 square feet.
- Rihanna was asked to leave the mosque in 2013 due to her disrespectful behavior.
How to get there?
The cheapest way to go from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is by bus. The number E100 and E101 depart from the Al Ghubaiba bus station and the Ibn Battuta Metro Station. The bus fares are 25 AED one way. It’s about 100 km.
The easiest way to go from a bus station to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is by taxi.
What to wear?
There is a strict dress code in the mosque. You will have to follow it’s rules, if you want like to get inside.
Women: the head must be covered as well as wrists and ankles. No tight fitting and see through clothes. The easiest way is to hire an abaya for no charge.
Men: No tank tops and no shorts.
Check out here a full guide on how to dress: http://www.szgmc.ae/en/plan-your-visit#conduct
How to behave inside the mosque?
- Remove your shoes before you enter the main prayer hall (Don’t worry, they’ll be there when you come back :))
- Don’t sit on the carpet.
- Don’t engage in any intimate behavior including holding hands.
- Keep your voice down.
- No smoking.
- No food/drink.
- You can borrow an abaya (traditional robe) before you enter the mosque. If you want to do it, remember to take your ID, such as a driver’s license. Passport is not accepted. If you don’t have an ID, they can accept a hotel key card.
- Guided tours are free and run for 60 minutes everyday, except Fridays. For more information, see the tour guide times here.
- Visit around 4:30pm – and catch a glimpse of the golden hour, along with the perfect sunset. Stay until late. Evening Mosque is amazing and looks like from The Thousand and One Nights.
- Opening hours: from 9am to 10pm (last entry at 9.30 pm) on Saturday to Thursday, from 4.30pm to 10pm on Fridays.
And now I’m leaving you with the beautiful details of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque…