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Dip Gandhi

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

By our Abu Dhabi Local Expert

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     The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque reflects the spirit of Islam, a religion of peace, education and tolerance. It is also arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society; and one of the most beautiful in the world. It is seen as a globally unifying landmark from its conception to completion, bringing together designers, features, materials and suppliers from nearly every corner of the globe. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open for everyone and travelers of all nationalities to visit and appreciate the artistic splendor of the mosque, take an informative tour or simply get in to soak up the tranquility and architectural greatness. It is one of the best attractions to see in Abu Dhabi during your stay in the city.

My Destination

      Initiated by the late President of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Grand Mosque design and construction were done using natural materials including gold, marble, stone, semi-precious stones, crystals and ceramics. Though the planning to build the Mosque began in the late 1980s, its construction started only in 1996.  The maximum capacity is approximately 41,000 people. The Mosque has 1,096 columns in its exterior and 96 columns in the main prayer hall which are embedded with more than 20,000 handmade marble panels encrusted with semi-precious stones, including lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone shell and mother of pearl. Artificial lakes, totaling 7,874 square metres and laden with dark tiles, surround the Mosque. Italian white marble and inlaid floral designs adorn the prayer halls and the Mosque’s interior walls have decorative 24 carat gold-glass mosaic features. To get an opportunity to see all these world’s best and largest attractions, visiting the Grand Mosque is to be included in your things to do list in Abu Dhabi. 

My Destination

      The pools along the arcades reflect the Grand Mosque’s spectacular columns, which becomes even more glamorous at night. It is a beautiful experience to watch the Mosque during night. It is better to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the evening just before sunset so that the travelers will get an amazing opportunity to view both the sunset and night views of its breathtaking exterior. The unique lightning system reflecting the phases of the moon was designed by lightning architects Jonathon Speirs and Major. Beautiful bluish gray clouds are projected onto the external walls and every day the mosque and ambience appear little different under light shades. 

My Destination

     The Mosque grounds hosts the final resting place of the president of UAE, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was buried in the courtyard of the Mosque after his death on 3rd November 2004. Photography is permitted inside and outside the mosque except for the grave of Sheikh Zayed and the area around the tomb.

My Destination

Highlights

• The mosque has the world's largest carpet at 7,119 square metres from Iran
• The world's largest chandelier from Germany made from one million Swarovski crystals.
• It has 28 types of marble and 24-carat gold throughout
• The 22,412 square metre mosque site equates to around the size of five football fields.
• More than 3,000 workers and 38 renowned contracting companies took part in the construction work.
• The mosque has 82 domes all of traditional Moroccan design - all decorated with white marble.
• The main dome's outer shell is 32.8 metres in diameter and stands at a height of 70 metres from the inside and 85 metres from the outside.

My Destination

Grand Mosque Guided Tours

      There are Sheikh Zayed Mosque guided tours of 60 minutes duration available from Saturday to Thursday at 10 AM and 11 AM in the morning and 4.30 pm in the evening. There are no entry fees for visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Please note that Friday morning is strictly for worshippers only, and afternoon tours are available at 2 pm, 4.30 pm and 8 pm. There are no entry fees for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Groups with less than 10 persons do not need to make advance booking and may join in the Public Tour conducted daily. All private bookings and VIP bookings are to be made by sending an email to tour@szgmc.ae or call +971 2 4416444 (Weekdays) for general enquiries and bookings. There are a number of wheelchairs available for those with special needs. For more information, please visit: http://www.szgmc.ae/en/tours.
My Destination

Dress Code

      All visitors are requested to respect the religion and place of prayer and follow these simple rules: Visitors must be dressed appropriately on arrival in the Sheikh Zayed Mosque; if not, entry will not be provided. No transparent (see-through) clothing, No shorts and skirts must be ankle length. Do not adopt tight clothing, swimwear or beachwear. Shoes will be removed before entering the mosque and so slip off shoes is recommended. Headscarf for ladies is essential (these can be provided on arrival). Intimate behavior like holding hands or kissing is not acceptable in a Muslim place of worship. Smoking and food are not allowed in the mosque area. Visitors are requested not to touch the Holy Quran (Holy Book) and other architectural elements inside the main prayer hall. 

Location of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

      The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located between Mussafah bridge and Maqta bridge in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
 
Accommodation near Sheikh Zayed Mosque
 
      If you prefer to stay in one of the hotels like Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Traders Hotel or Shangri-La Hotel, you can even see the Grand Mosque on the other side of the creek and enjoy the scenic view of the huge minarets and the skyline from the hotel premises itself. Some of the other hotels within 2 km of the Mosque are Rocco Forte Hotel, Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, Park Arjaan by Rotana and Park Rotana Abu Dhabi. All of the hotels have got world class restaurants for an amazing dining experience.
 
360 Degree Virtual Tour of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
 
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Getting in to Sheikh Zayed Mosque

      International travelers can easily reach the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which is just 30-minutes drive away from Abu Dhabi International Airport and 100-minutes drive away from Dubai International Airport. Travelers coming from Abu Dhabi Airport need to cross the Mussafah bridge and immediately take the right and go ahead to take the first right again to drive under the highway for a U-turn and reach the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. There are lots of cars and bus parking slots available in the south car park and need not worry about parking space in the premises. 
 
 
Click here to read more about the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi or click Things To Do to know about the fantastic travel spots in the Emirate.
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Norman

"I haven't been everywhere, but it’s on my list" - Susan Sontag