5 Things You Have To Know When Visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi really took my breath away when I saw it. It is one of the worlds largest Mosques and it’s beauty and tranquility really captivates you. Even with throngs of people around me it still felt peaceful and other worldly.
The open-door policy invites people from all around the world to witness the spectacular onion-top domes, the reflective pools and the incredible prayer hall, that houses the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, which are both amazingly made by hand!
If you haven’t been there but it is on your list then there are some things you definitely need to know!
Entrance is free when visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque
No need to worry about payment when visiting Sheikh Zayeed Mosque. Entrance is completely free. You will need to however follow a few steps in order to get inside. The entrance is actually underground so you will need to go down some escalators through a mall. Then you will need to be scanned by security. Lastly you will have to fill out some details on ipads they have in place and get a ticket printed out.
Then you are ready to head upstairs again and start exploring!
You have to be covered
As with every mosque you need to be respectful and cover yourself when entering. When visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque your hair must also be completely covered as well as the rest of your body. Your hands and feet may show and you can wear sandals.
Don’t fret if you don’t have your own Abaya though. The most kindly offers them to all females free of charge. When you enter a female will point towards a dressing room which you enter. You will be handed one and you can just pop it on over your clothes.
If there is a bit of a breeze or you have very soft shiny hair you might want to take a hair clip with, I constantly had to hold mine as it slips off your head very easily.
Be respectful when visiting Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Respect is something I feel very strongly about and as a tourist you should too. If you visit someone else’s country you need to respect their cultures and laws even though sometimes they don’t make sense to you.
I constantly saw foreigners getting into trouble at the Mosque ( be aware that there is a lot of security around ) and it really made me sad.
- Don’t take your hair out for photos or try and show more of your body etc than the Abaya allows. The security will ask you to delete these images if they see you. If you get away with it and post it online that just sets a very bad example so why do it at all.
- Do not step into the middle part of the Mosque. There are clear signs everywhere asking you not to yet so many people still did or tried to anyway.
- Don’t show any affection or touch your partner. This was for sure a difficult one as I automatically held onto Mike’s hand at one point while taking images and the guard came over to ask us not to.
- Don’t run, scream or be rude. This should be obvious but you still get those people…
Best time to go to the Sheik Zayed Mosque
It it open Saturday to Thursday from 9am till 10pm and on Fridays 4:30pm till 10pm. These times might change during Ramadan so just be sure to check!
We went at sunset and although it was extremely beautiful and magical it was also very busy. I would say going in the middle of the day would probably be a better time as things only get busier later in the afternoon in UAE.
The best photo spots
I was more worried than I should have been about taking photos. The entire middle section is closed off to the public which means everyone can get that insane view with no people. Standing in between the pillars inside the mosque is one of those shots you just have to get.
The front of the mosque is also really beautiful for shots but if you want unique angles there are plenty. Head to the parking lot side for a great view especially at night. You can also go across the road from the Mosque to get the reflection in the water.
We took our camera as well as our tripod in and no one had a problem with us setting it up to get some photos together. Just as long as we weren’t touching!
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