Visiting the UAE is a lot more than just visiting Dubai. While Dubai has some great tourist attractions, a lot of tourists end up missing beautiful architectural and cultural heritage sites in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. When you think Abu Dhabi, you should think Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Named after the founding father of the UAE, this breathtaking mosque is located right at the entrance to Abu Dhabi so you need not fear getting lost trying to find it. The shine of the polished pure white marble architecture is impossible to miss.
There is ample parking but if you’re worried about finding place, there are dedicated buses that run to and from the mosque. “I’m not a Muslim so will I be allowed in?” you may well ask. The answer is yes! You can come during visiting hours for a free almost hour long guided walk-in tour if you’re not planning on coming with a tour operator. Just remember there is a dress code so dress for the occasion to make sure you can get inside. :)
|Sunday – Thursday||10am, 11am, 5pm|
|Saturday||10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm|
So what’s there to see… to be honest, everything about the mosque is simply beautiful, from the ornate chandeliers and domes intricately carved with Quranic verses to the ablution rooms with their gorgeous skylights.
Once you get into the mosque, you’ll either want to snap a picture of everything or you will want to just to take a walk and enjoy taking in all the sights whether that’s in the prayer hall, the white marble pavilion or the gardens with their pools. Whatever the case may be, just remember there are some pictures you shouldn’t be snapping. Avoid taking pictures of ladies at the mosque (unless of course you ask their permission) and also taking pictures of the late ruler’s burial site is an absolute no-no!
If you want to really appreciate the exterior of the mosque, I’d advise going in winters just. I’ve only been twice but I’m hoping to go a third time… this time in the evening just to enjoy another aspect of the mosque. If you’ve ever gone at night, feel free to share some pictures! :)