Middle East, United Arab Emirates

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Middle East United Arab Emirates

If you’re considering a day trip from Dubai, you should consider visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the most beautiful place in UAE in my opinion. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is in Abu Dhabi. It is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai). It is also the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE’s seven emirates.

Abu Dhabi is 150 km (93 miles) southwest of Dubai down Sheikh Zayed Road. If you decide to visit the mosque, allow yourself 90 minutes each way by car in normal traffic. You can rent a car, take The Big Bus Tour, or jump in a taxi, which will cost 250-275 AED each way. One thing that surprised me about UAE in general was how reasonably priced the taxis are. The cheapest way of getting to the capital is by bus.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a truly a spectacular site. It is an important example of contemporary Islamic architecture in the UAE. The mosque was constructed from 1996 to 2007. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. There are no entry fees for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and is open from 9 am – 10 pm daily. It is closed for tourism activities on Friday mornings. The best time to visit is during the evening during sunset. The breeze is beautiful and you will be able to take pictures with gold and blue lighting.

Dress modestly, as ladies need to cover up. You will need to cover your head. If however you do not have the correct attire, there is clothing available. All women will be asked to wear a traditional robe (abaya) and headscarf (shayla) before entering the mosque. You may need some ID to enable you to borrow it. You will need to remove your shoes prior to entry to the mosque and there is storage available for your belongings.

Beautiful, marvelous, attractive, impressive; words fall short in describing this amazing building. This spiritual structure is extremely adorable to see and will give you peace of mind. The visit is a must. Enjoy the culture, learn about the religion, take plenty of photos and be respectful.

Contributed by Ivette Leon