The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi also known as the Grand Mosque is quite a sight to be seen, and when you visit Dubai you need to travel to Abu Dhabi to see it! I spent 1 week in Dubai and on one of those days I took a day trip to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque from Dubai with my friend who lives in Dubai as she works for Emirates and it was a highlight of my time in Dubai!
You can get the bus to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai or you can get a taxi as we did. Below is how to do both of these options going from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai!
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai by Bus
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and its 150km South of Dubai. There’s a bus that runs from Dubai’s Downtown bus station to Abu Dhabi regularly (although I couldn’t find the exact times online), takes 2 hours and costs 25 AED/ £4.50.
However, after realising just how big Dubai is, how long it takes to get around and the fact that we would have needed to get a taxi from my friend’s apartment to the bus station to get the bus and then get a taxi from Abu Dhabi bus station to the Mosque totalling in a good 3+ hours each way plus 4 taxi fares we decided to just get a taxi from my friend’s apartment straight there.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai by Taxi
Going via taxi from Dubai to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi did cost a lot more at 250-275 AED/ £45-£50 each way but the drive only took us 90 minutes each way and the mosque is free to enter so that helped save on costs.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi run’s free guided tours 3 times a day (except Fridays) at 10:00 am, 11:00 am and 5:00 pm.
We, unfortunately, got there just after 10:00 am just missing the tour but I really recommend you do plan your visit to go to one of the guided tours so you can learn more about the mosque and more about Islam.
As we arrived at the Mosque from the main road and made our way up to it and it was even bigger than I imagined. We got out of the taxi and made our way up to the entrance and it was so bright with the sun shining off that it hurt our eyes and we were glad we had sunglasses!
Update: If I was to do this trip again I’d do an organised tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi so we had a guide to show us around the Mosque and be able to see some of Abu Dhabi City at the same time:
Straight away we had our phones and camera’s out as I could see the iconic gold and white detailed pillars with the water in front of them that I had seen in so many photos but first we were directed downstairs to get covered up!
I wasn’t sure what to wear to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque as a female. I had worn a black maxi dress, took my own headscarf and something to cover my arms thinking that this would be fine but the impression I got is that they like you to wear their Abaya (full black dress) and to be fair they weren’t as bad as I thought they would be!
The Abaya had a hood which will cover your hair and top of your head but we decided to use our own headscarf to add some colour which I recommend!
We headed back upstairs and started to walk around unable to stop taking photos. We walked through all the pillars, into the centre of the Mosque and then into the prayer room which was filled with many beautiful chandeliers and a very soft carpet and I said to my friend how amazing it would be if you were Muslim and this just happened to be your local Mosque.
Once outside we walked around again some more but by then the heat was really getting to us in all of our layers.
We were there for a good hour or so and although the actual structure is very big, there isn’t a huge amount of walking to be done and soon you are back to where you started.
Overall we really enjoyed it. We did consider not going due to the time it would take to get there on the bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and the cost of the taxi but I don’t regret going one bit!
Sheikh Zayed Mosque Travel Tips
I had been advised that getting there for when the sun is setting is a beautiful time with the light filtering in so if you can go at sunset then do!
There’s nothing else surrounding the Mosque. Initially, I thought we could visit and then get a coffee somewhere before heading back to Dubai but it didn’t seem possible to walk anywhere from the Mosque.
Taxis were waiting outside and even in Dubai, all the taxi drivers know where it is as it’s a really popular destination so no need to worry about that.
Make sure you take sunglasses! All of the white plus the sun was pretty blinding!