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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 6 days in Dubai and on one of those days I took a day trip to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque from Dubai with my friend who is living in Dubai as she works for Emirates Airline and it was a highlight of my time in Dubai!
Abu Dhabi is actually the capital of the UAE and its 150km South of Dubai. After some researching I found that 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 and 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 friends apartment straight there.
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 it was an easy way to get to Abu Dhabi and not that expensive because there’s no entrance fee.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi run’s free guided tours 3 times a day (except Fridays) at 10am, 11am and 5pm.
We unfortunately got there just after 10am just missing the tour and after walking round by ourselves for an hour we then decided the heat was too much to carry on for another hour by doing the 11am tour.
Back to our arrival at Sheikh Zayed Mosque, we 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!
2019 Update: If I was do to 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 in Abu Dhabi as a female. I had worn a black maxi dress, took my own head scarf 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, although I did feel like I was in Harry Potter in a cloak rather than covering up to go into a mosque!
The Abaya had a hood which will cover your hair and top of your head but Me and Nikki decided to use our own head scarf 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 Nikki 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!
Useful Information for visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi from Dubai by taxi!
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 could make it there then then I would!
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.
Taxi’s 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!