A Quick Guide to Visiting the Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

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When I first visited Abu Dhabi a couple of years ago during Ramadan, I was unable to visit the Grand Mosque as it was open only to worshipers during the month of fasting. But on my second visit to Abu Dhabi, I headed straight for the cities’ main attraction and finally got to observe this marvellous structure for myself. So here’s a quick guide for first time visitors to the Grand Mosque to ensure you know what to do, what not to do, and most importantly, what to wear!


Before You Go

Dress Accordingly – Nothing could be more important than to get this right on the day you intend to visit the mosque, as with any mosque you visit. Dressing accordingly is your way of showing respect – see here for a full guide on how to dress.

Women – Must cover the head, wrists and ankles. If you are not dressed appropriately, you are able to ‘hire’ an abaya for no charge. This will cover you head to toe and prevents disappointment, but you should still arrive in loose fitting clothing covering the knees (ankles better) and wrists.

Men – No tank tops and no shorts.

Head covered - Grand Mosque

While You’re There

Removing Shoes – All visitors must remove their shoes before entering the mosque. Don’t worry, they’ll be there when you return!

Joining a Tour – Is a great way to learn about Islamic and Emirati culture. These run for 60 minutes a number of times a day, except Fridays. What’s more – they’re complimentary! For a much more informative experience, see the tour guide times here.

Don’t Forget to Look Up! – Inside are 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers, the world’s largest hand knotted carpet, and no less than 1,000 columns.

Be Respectful – Always ensure your head is covered and wear your appropriate attire throughout your visit. Some celebrities have been asked to leave after taking photos that have been considered disrespectful.

Take Plenty of Photos – You will be glad to learn that photos are allowed and more than welcome inside and outside of the mosque. Just be sure to respect any boundaries/barriers, or you will be met with a disgruntled security officer yelling from afar.


Is there an entry fee? No.

Are there guided tours? Daily and they’re free!

Where do the tours commence? On the East Side of the Mosque

How to get there? You must make your own way – taxi is very affordable

Are there toilets? Plenty

What can’t I do? Smoke, take food or drink.

Tips and Tricks

Visit at 4:30pm – and catch a glimpse of golden hour, along with the perfect sunset. It’s also a cooler time of the day to visit.


Opening hours: Open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning, which is for worshippers only. The opening hours are 9am to 10pm (last entry at 9.30 pm) – Saturday to Thursday and 4.30pm to 10pm on Fridays. Complimentary one hour guided tours run (Sun-Thurs) at 10am, 11am and 5pm. Friday times are 5pm and 7pm  and Saturday 10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!



  1. manjulikapramod@gmail.com'

    Manjulika Pramod

    March 3, 2016

    I visited it two weeks ago. Its all fresh in my mind.

  2. magda199512@wp.pl'


    February 20, 2016

    AAA I must go there!

  3. victoriah311@hotmail.com'


    May 15, 2015

    The mosque is awesome. I took some gorgeous pics of the interior with ornate carvings , carpets and chandeliers. Wish I could’ve gone back at sunset. A lovely experience 🙂

  4. mnaaz.com@gmail.com'


    May 13, 2015

    This mosque is definitely on my list for such a long time!It looks absolutely awsome!

  5. luke@wildarabia.me'


    May 12, 2015

    This is a nice guide Brooke, hope you enjoyed your time in the UAE! We love the photos you take! 🙂

  6. lil_lea2004@hotmail.com'

    Leanne Winters

    May 5, 2015

    Thanks for the tips, its really helpful to know what to do and not to do 🙂 xx

  7. oyeenshahabuddin@gmail.com'

    Oyeen Shahabuddin

    May 5, 2015

    Dear David. Please get your facts right. Women can certainly drive here in Abu Dhabi. We can also work, go out in our 2 piece bikini to the beach and have ladies night every Tuesdays at the pubs and bars. Yes, there are rules to abide, but women are most definitely not oppressed. Ps- it’s a beautiful mosque by the way..

  8. tallgirlbigworld@gmail.com'

    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld

    May 4, 2015

    Observing the dress code in any religious setting is so important. When I visited various cathedrals in Italy they had similar rules, so it’s good that you mentioned it in your post.

  9. misstravelfairy@gmail.com'


    May 3, 2015

    Nice article. This place is on my list and can´t wait to go.

  10. chloe.coslovich@hotmail.com'


    May 3, 2015

    Hey Guys!

    Can anyone help me, what APP does Brooke use to create the heading on top of the second image ‘Visiting the Grand Mosque’?

    Thanks! 🙂

  11. sarahcroberts@gmail.com'


    May 3, 2015

    This was meant to be a reply to David below.

  12. sarahcroberts@gmail.com'


    May 3, 2015

    Women can certainly drive in AD. I live in Dubai and drive there for work all the time. And you can wear a two piece bathing suit too … Where are you getting this false info?

  13. noslappz@gmail.com'


    May 2, 2015

    It’s astounding to me that non-Islamic women want to visit nations where they would face arrest if they were to go about their day in Abu Dhabi as they go about their days at home. The writer didn’t mention the fact that women can’t drive in Abu Dhabi or even sun-bathe in a two-piece bathing suit at an Abu Dhabi hotel. And, no one with an Israeli passport is allowed into Abu Dhabi.

  14. miatajia@aol.com'

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    May 2, 2015

    It is a very respectful & beautiful environment to be in. Adaptation is key to every country that we travel to. Sometimes beautiful images captured will not even do justice for such grand architecture as this. If one has a has a chance of a lifetime to be there physically in person to be able to let the eyes seize such allure and charm. It would be one last thing to cross out on the bucket list! 🙂

  15. lexi@theygetaround.com'


    May 2, 2015

    I love it how you often go to places like these that aren’t the typical touristy countries.

  16. xo_shelbs_ox@Hotmail.com'


    May 2, 2015

    So gorgeous! Can’t wait to visit :]

  17. arnewell@gwu.edu'


    May 2, 2015

    Adding this to my list! I love visiting mosques ever since visiting Istanbul, and this one looks especially stunning. Thanks for sharing, your pictures are lovely as always!

  18. carina.csh@gmail.com'


    May 2, 2015

    The mosque looks GORGEOUS, I love that people can take photographs – its usually uncommon for religious buildings.
    I hope to visit Abu Dhabi one day, will definitely go to this mosque if i do!
    Such a nice way to experience another culture!

    X, Carina

  19. carolina.aurelie@outlook.com'


    May 2, 2015

    Wow, your pictures look great. I definitely have to visit Abu Dhabi some day.

  20. vonnydu@hotmail.co.id'


    May 1, 2015

    Such a really pretty mosque!


  21. lavenderprovince@gmx.at'


    May 1, 2015


    Very interesting destination. I’d love to spent a week or two there.

    Have a nice weekend, Heli from Austria


  22. suitcaseandsandals@outlook.com'

    Hannah Walter

    May 1, 2015

    Wow, how breathtaking. I would love to visit the Grand Mosque. Its so important to be respectful in places of worship and I’m so glad you have shared this as well. The photos are truly stunning, I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be there!!


  23. lamb_4444@hotmail.com'

    EmilyAnne (Eat All Over The World)

    May 1, 2015

    Great information. Thanks!

Comments are closed.