The best way to experience the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Blog written on 08-06-2022
Many people think Dubai is a country in itself. But whilst it’s the most popular emirate, out of the 7 in the United Arab Emirates, there are others you should visit. Abu Dhabi should be high on your list, and an itinerary to Abu Dhabi would not be complete without a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Opulence and grandeur are not usually words you associate with a place of worship, but this mosque is one of the most spectacular forms of architecture you’ll see. Ever. As always, the key to having the best experience is to plan. So, here are my tips to make this trip one for the books.
Book tickets in advance
Things have certainly changed due to Covid-19. However, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque remains a very popular tourist destination. So instead of taking a chance, just book your ticket online. Also, this is a more Covid-friendly approach, because there is less human contact. Entry is free. There is a ticket entry point though, and a security check, so you need to make sure you comply so you can gain entry.
All your efforts to even enter the mosque will be futile if you don’t get this right. Women need to wear what is called an Abaya, like I’m wearing here. They used to offer these for rent, but due to Covid-19, you need to purchase your own. An Abaya costs AED 45, and you can choose out of a variety of colours. I chose this blue because it would match with the sky! And how beautiful does it look? When you arrive at the mosque, there are a lot of stores. And that is where you will buy the Abaya. If you are a man, ensure you wear a long-sleeved shirt and trousers. No tattoos can be visible here, and there are no exceptions. It’s a place of worship, so don’t think you can come with your own rules and everyone will budge. Cover up. You can also buy a Kandura (the white robe men here wear). I think it’s a nice touch for your pictures! They cost a bit more though, you can pay about 90 Dirhams, but remember, you should always negotiate for a good price.
How to explore the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
You have a few options here. I walked through the mosque with my friend. We didn’t get a guide. But I would highly recommend that if you have a bit more time on your hands, you go for this option. You can ask at the reception for a guided tour. Otherwise, there are operators that can offer you a tour if you want to with a company as part of a guided Abu Dhabi trip.
Get the best pictures
Good pictures are rarely ever a coincidence. You need to be prepared! When you visit the mosque, look out for the photo spots. They are clearly marked and you can wait in line to get your picture, so no-one is standing in your pictures.Because who doesn’t want an epic photo to remember their trip!
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I’m a travel curator who has visited over 30 countries and is currently based in Dubai. For more of Tingu Travel’s experiences, you can follow us on Instagram and Tik Tok @tingutravel