Sheikh Zayed Mosque – An Architectural Masterpiece

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UAE is well-known for its architectural feat. Apart from the skyscrapers, the mosques’ design is alluring and represents the country’s architectural excellence. Culture and elegance meet at the mosques in the UAE, and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques here.

It is located in Abu Dhabi and is the central tourist attraction. As the name denotes, it is a grand mosque with luxury evident in every nook, cranny, and massive size.

Sheikh Zayed mosque is one of the largest mosques globally and will attract all eyes at first glance. The mosque looks stunning in glossy white with numerous domes. Its design was inspired by Persian and Mughal architecture. The mosque pillars are embellished with golden designs contributing to its striking appearance. It took 11 years to complete the mosque.

Everyone who visits UAE often includes it on their bucket list. Apart from its beauty, the mosque traces the great traditions of Islam. Another advantage is that you will have free entry along with guided tours. The mosque is open to all so non-Muslims can enter without a second thought.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s first ruler. The mosque results from his vision and epitomizes the Islamic message of peace, tolerance, and diversity. His burial space is located right next to the mosque. 

There are enough reasons to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and you cannot stop taking pictures as every detail is picture-perfect and mesmerizing. So, let’s see the grand mosque’s distinct features that made it famous worldwide.

The Unique Architecture

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located at Abu Dhabi City Island entrance. It can be seen from the three main bridges that connect the island to the mainland- the Maqta, Mussafah, and Sheikh Zayed Bridges. The mosque is built with SIVEC marble from Macedonia. The white color was chosen as a symbol of purity.


There are 82 domes of different sizes, with the largest in the main prayer hall center. You will see the numerous windows that allow natural light to enter the prayer halls.

The magnificent architecture is complemented by exquisite lighting to heighten the aesthetic beauty of the mosque. The lighting of the grand mosque is connected to the lunar cycle. The mosque will look resplendent at the full moon and shift color throughout the moon cycle.

The changes in color as per the undulating clouds are achieved with a unique lighting system. The church will become bluer as the moon gets smaller.

The main prayer hall has the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. It is a blend of wool and carpet, and the rug was hand-crafted by around 12000 artisans. Never forget to step into the prayer hall and peek at the enormous carpet that took two years to complete.

Halls and foyers look elegant with dazzling chandeliers. The largest one among them weighs around 12 tons. They are made of gilded stainless steel and gilded brass. They are decorated with glass panels and Swarovski crystals.

The reflective pools surrounding the mosque reflect its arcades and designs, which become more splendid with the lighting in the dark. Numerous columns in the arcade will attract your eyes for sure. They are made of white marble panels and decorated with precious and semi-precious stones like red agate, amethyst, and mother of pearls.

Their design resembles the date palms in Arabia. The courtyard at Grand Mosque spans 17400 square meters and can accommodate 31000 worshippers.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – World records

The grand mosque proudly holds two world records that lure tourists worldwide. They are:

  • The world’s largest handmade carpet, which is 5627 square meters
  • The enormous chandelier in the world

Guided tours at Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

Excellent news for the visitors to Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque is that it offers free guided tours to visitors. With this, the visitors can visit the mosque with a professional guide who explains the mosque’s architecture, culture, and traditions. The 45-minute guided tour is provided in English and Arabic languages.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque Dress Code

What to wear when visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque? The mosque has a strict dress code. Ladies should cover their body parts and also their hair. Sleeveless tops and anything that shows off your body is not allowed inside. Don’t worry if your dress is not acceptable for security. The traditional dress of Islam, called the Abaya, is available at the mosque, which you can wear. If you want to capture some photos wearing your favorite dresses, make sure they are modest.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque location

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is between the three main bridges connecting Abu Dhabi City to the mainland (Maqta, Mussafah, and Sheikh Zayed bridges). The most expensive and accessible option for those from Dubai is to take a taxi. Depending on your location, it will cost you a minimum of AED 300.

You can find buses at Al Ghubaiba Station in Bur Dubai. It will take around 2 hours, and the cost is AED 25. It would help if you went by taxi or bus from the Abu Dhabi bus station to the mosque. Another great way is to book a city tour with a tour company. The Abu Dhabi city tour includes the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which you can visit without trouble.

Best time to visit the Sheik Zayed Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is spectacular at both dawn and dusk. However, considering the hot climate, you can visit in the morning or evening in the summer. The photographers might love to see in the evening to capture the magnificence in the golden hour.

If you want to see the special lighting, you should go in the evening. Though the mosque can be crowded on Friday, you won’t feel even a bit uncomfortable as the giant structure can accommodate thousands of people at a time.

Visiting hours

Saturday to Thursday- 9 am- 10 pm

Friday – 4.30 pm – 10 pm

During Ramadan:

Saturday to Thursday – 9 am – 3 pm.

Friday- closed Mosques in the UAE demonstrate architectural brilliance, luxury, and incredible culture. Make sure that you visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which is a majestic m