One of the most prominent locations in the entire United Arab Emirates and located within the capital, Abu Dhabi, is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
The mosque is considered to be one of the most key and central locations in the whole country for worship. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque at Abu Dhabi is one of the largest mosques in the world, a popular tourist spot and a truly immense and interesting building.
While you’re enjoying the culture of Abi Dhabi, you can always take some time to enjoy some of the fantastic golf course in Dubai.
The Grand History
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque began construction in 1996 and was finally finished in 2007. The Mosque was created to bring all of the nationalities of the neighbouring countries as well as the expats living in Abu Dhabi together in one unifying monument.
The incredible views of the Grand Mosque are truly amazing and the Mosque was voted as the World’s Second Favourite Landmark by TripAdvisor two years running.
The Mosque was set to hold a capacity of a staggering 41,000 people with room for more. The Mosque is made up of 82 different sized domes with four main minarets.
Sheikh Zayed himself, who sadly passed away in 2004 and is considered to be the Father of the United Arab Emirates, having himself created the UAE out of the Trucial States along with the ruler of Dubai is known for having his final resting place being beside the Grand Mosque.
An absolute sight to behold in any country, the Grand Mosque sis proudly in Abu Dhabi and welcomes visitors, Muslim or non-Muslim.
When to Visit
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open to visitors, regardless of culture, nationality of religion.
The Grand Mosque is open every day for visitors except on a Friday morning, in which only worshippers are allowed for their morning prayers.
The opening hours are follows: Saturday to Thursday, 9:00 AM until 10:00 PM (last entry at 9:30 PM) and then on Fridays 4:30 PM until 10:00 PM.
Rules and Dress Code
As Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a traditional and religious focal point of Abu Dhabi, it is required that you abide by a strict set of rules if you plan on visiting the Mosque.
First of all, you must behave in accordance to Sharia Law while you attend. You cannot swear, make rude gestures or have public displays of affection. Any of these will result in you being asked to leave the Mosque or, worse, escorted away by the police and charged. The Grand Mosque is held in very high regard and you should show the utmost respect if you wish to visit.
Secondly, dress code. Everybody must cover themselves in order to enter the Mosque and it’s recommended you wear easy to remove shoes as you’ll be asked to remove them. It is against the law to enter a mosque while wearing shoes. We would recommend you cover yourself in loose fitting clothes, preferably dark in colour, that cover from your ankles to your wrists and a pashmina will be ideal to cover your head. If women do not have suitable clothing, they will be given an abaya to wear while they are inside the mosque unless they wish to bring their own. There are many beautiful abayas for sale in many of the fantastic souks in the UAE so feel free to shop around and bring your own.