The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest mosque in the world. Its construction ended in 2007, although the project was planned more than 50 years ago by the first president of the Arab Emirates.
It has a capacity for more than 40,000 people. Incredible! The name of the mosque honors the country's first president (who planned its construction), who passed away in 2004. The first ceremony held at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque was his burial, and his remains are still there today.
The mosque stands out for its combination of white marble with gold and floral prints that decorate it. Around the mosque there are different reflecting pools and it has a system of lights that reflect the lunar phases. The bluish tones of the lights combine every day according to the lunar cycle.
The interior stands out for the columns and for having some very valuable pieces such as the world's largest handmade carpet and 12-ton lamps made of Swarovski.
It is a place that exudes a lot of peace and an essential to visit in Abu Dhabi.
VISIT THE SHEIKH ZAYED MOSQUE, ABU DHABI
1. Tips for visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
1.1. Appropriate clothing to bring to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque
We must not forget that it is a religious place. So we must follow a series of protocols, especially clothing. In addition, it is an Islamic country, so you must cover your knees and elbows. And in the case of women, it is essential that no ankles or wrists are shown, as well as the head must be covered.
If you do not wear appropriate clothing, at the same entrance they lend tunics to both men and women to be able to visit. Although it is advisable to carry a tunic in your backpack because you will not only need it to visit this mosque.
You also have to take into account that to access the main room of the mosque you have to remove your shoes. There the floor is covered with some very valuable rugs that would be ruined if everyone stepped on them with shoes.
1.2. Meet the standards
As soon as you enter you will realize that throughout the mosque there are many security guards who make sure that no one breaks the rules; clothing, behavior... So if you are thinking of taking off your headscarf as soon as you enter (for example, to take a photo) forget about it, because they may even ask you to delete the video or photo in front of them.
When you access the main room of the mosque it is necessary to remove your shoes. The floor is covered with very valuable rugs and they take great care of them, so you will not be able to access it if you do not take off your shoes.
2. Prices and schedules
Entrance to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is free. And you can book a tour in English of the mosque. They do them daily. If you prefer a guided tour in Spanish, you can book a half-day tour to see the essential places in Abu Dhabi, and one of the stops is to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. You must bear in mind that the mosque is not located in the center of the city, and if you do not have a rental car, a great option is this tour since it also includes pick-up at the hotel, transportation, etc…
2.1. Visiting hours to the mosque
From Saturday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mornings are reserved for Muslims to pray.
During the month of Ramadan, it is only open from Saturday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The best time to visit the mosque is at sunset, between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The colors of the sunset make all the details of the mosque intensify and it has a very magical touch.
2.2. The schedules of the guided tours in English (they are free)
From Sunday to Thursday: 10am, 11am and 5pm
Friday: 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm
3. How to get to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque from Abu Dhabi
As I mentioned in the previous point, the mosque is not in the center of the city, so you will have to go there.
3.1. By rental car
You have several options, one of the most recommended if you like to go it alone is to rent a car. This will allow you to go at your own pace and not have to depend on schedules.
3.2. In taxi
If you opt for the taxi option, the price costs about 30-40 dirhams, (Between 8 and 10 euros). It takes about half an hour depending on traffic. It is advisable to agree on the price before getting into the taxi to avoid scams. From your hotel you can ask the receptionists to order a taxi for you. At the exit of the mosque you will have many options, remember, you must ask before raising the rate. If you are not convinced, ask someone else. There is a lot ready =)
3.3. Go by Bus 44, 54 or 163
Going by bus only works out for you if you travel by public transport. To use this type of bus you must have the Hafilat transport magnetic card, which has a minimum cost of 5AED per person and you can add the balance you want.
It is not usually a very common way of traveling among tourists. Because despite the fact that it is somewhat cheaper than going by taxi, you must take into account the schedules, the stops, etc.
There are not many places that sell this card, if you are interested I recommend that you request this option at your hotel and they will inform you of the nearest point of sale. Although, if you are in Abu Dhabi for a few days, I recommend taking a taxi or renting a car.
The price per trip is 3 dirhams, a little less than one euro. The routes that stop closest are 44, 54 and 163.
As there are several stops, you must bear in mind that the journey from the city center to the mosque can take up to 1 hour and a quarter (each way).
3.4. Free shuttle to get to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The Majid shop-museum is very close to the Mosque and has a free transfer service. There are departures from various points in the city and there are even hotels that have a stop. They make a stop at the museum store where there are all kinds of crafts; textiles, embroidery, gold, pearls, precious stones, jewels, paintings, etc… The next stop is very close to the mosque, about a 5-minute walk away. If you are interested in taking this transfer, I recommend that you ask in advance at your accommodation, they take care of reserving it themselves. And your accommodation does not have this service, they will indicate other points in the city from where you can take the transfer.
PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP
I hope you enjoy your trip to Abu Dhabi very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!