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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Day Trips and Tours from Dubai

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the greatest architectural wonders of the world. It’s the largest mosque in Abu Dhabi and is among the top-ranked attractions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Non-Muslims are allowed to visit, which is a rare privilege. You can take a day trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai and see the dazzling domes and arches for yourself.

How to get to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai?

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is in Abu Dhabi, 150 kilometers south of Dubai. You can visit on a day tour, travel by car, or go by bus.

From Dubai to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque by car

The car journey to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque takes around 90 minutes. Just head south on the E11 before taking the E10 directly to the mosque.

There are car parking lots available at the mosque which are all signed from the building entrances.

From Dubai to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque by bus

If you want to go it alone, you can catch a bus from Downtown Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The journey takes two hours, and you will need to take a taxi for the final leg to the mosque.

Guided tour to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai

The easiest way to enjoy a Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque day trip from Dubai is on a half- or full-day guided tour.

Small-group visits and private excursions are both available, and many take in other sights in Abu Dhabi so you can make a day of it. Hotel pick-ups are usually included.

How much does the entrance ticket to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque cost?

Entrance to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is free. There are complimentary guided walk-in tours available for individuals and groups which last around 45-60 minutes. You should arrive 15 minutes before the tour starts on the east side of the mosque.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai?

You will be collected from your hotel after breakfast to begin your Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque day trip from Dubai. The journey takes 90 minutes by air-conditioned car or minivan, allowing you plenty of time to explore the mosque by guided tour on arrival.

If you have opted for a full-day sightseeing tour, your guide will then take you to some of the other iconic city attractions. Lunch can be purchased at local restaurants, or you can enjoy afternoon tea at the Qasr Al Watan Palace if you’ve chosen that excursion.

After a fun-filled day in Abu Dhabi, you will be returned to your hotel.

What kind of tours are available to go to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?

There are several different Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque day trips from Dubai to choose from. Here are some of the top picks:

Guided tour to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai

If your time is limited but you still want to see the mosque, then this half-day small-group trip is the answer. You’ll be whisked away from your hotel to Abu Dhabi, where you’ll enjoy a mosque tour before returning to Dubai.

Private day trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai

On this private tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, you’ll have your own vehicle and guide for the duration. Some trips take in the famous Falcon Hospital too where you can hang out with the UAE’s national bird. It’s also possible to include a visit to Ferrari World or the Louvre Museum on some private tours.

Day trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque plus other Abu Dhabi attractions

Discover the key sights of Abu Dhabi on this fun combination day tour to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Highlights can include the Qasr Al Watan Palace, Etihad Towers, the Louvre Museum, and The Corniche. Some tours visit Ferrari World and the Heritage Village too.

Guided tour to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with photographer

This 5-hour Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque excursion is perfect for capturing those magical vacation moments. Spice up your Instagram feed with stunning professional shots as you strike poses beside the iconic architecture.

Guided excursion to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque plus afternoon tea at the Emirates Palace

This half-day trip starts with a visit to the mosque, before heading to the Qasr Al Watan Palace for a tour and afternoon tea.

Day trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque plus Dubai Red Dunes with barbecue

This epic full-day jaunt to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi also swings by the Dubai desert for some dune bashing. You can go sand boarding and camel riding, before enjoying a delicious barbecue at a Bedouin camp.

Guided tour to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque plus Fujairah East Coast from Dubai

Visit the Fujairah Emirate on the east coast of the UAE and admire dunes and mountains on the journey. Highlights on this full-day excursion include Fujairah Fort, Khorfakkan beach, and of course the mosque.

How much does a tour to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai cost?

All day tours from Dubai include round-trip transfers from your hotel.

Guided day trips to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai cost between $47 – $125, depending on group size, and vehicle type.

For a private tour, expect to pay $132 - $410 per person – this includes an exclusive car and guide.

Abu Dhabi city tours plus the mosque visit are priced from $60- $207, depending on which attractions are included.

It costs $420 for a guided tour of the mosque with a professional photographer.

The mosque trip followed by afternoon tea at the Emirates Palace starts at $132.

If you want to include dune bashing with your mosque visit, expect to pay between $61 - $86. This includes a barbeque dinner.

The guided Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque day trip from Dubai that includes Fujairah costs $85.

What will you see and do at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?

Famed for its marble domes, reflective pools, and ornate columns, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque must be seen to be believed. The architectural style combines Arabic, Moroccan, and Andalusian influences, with enchanting results. Here are some of the mosque highlights:

Minarets

Punctuating the skyline of Abu Dhabi at nearly 350 feet high, the four minarets are the most iconic elements of the mosque. Crowned with golden mosaics, the bright white towers make for striking vacation photos.

On your Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque day trip from Dubai, the minarets will be the first things you see.

Marble domes

There are a whopping 82 domes of different sizes dotted about the mosque. Crafted from pure marble with gold embellishments, the onion-shaped domes are what bring the building to life. Look up when you’re inside the mosque and admire the Moroccan plasterwork on the dome ceilings.

Reflective pools

One of the most memorable moments of any day tour to the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque is seeing the shimmering light in the vast reflective pools. The calm water mirrors the opulent architecture, making the arcades and columns even more magnificent. This is especially effective in the evening light.

Lunar illuminations

Come in the evening and see the mosque lit up at night. The illuminations are spectacular with soft lighting designed to emulate the phases of the moon. The colors begin with blue-grey hues being projected onto the white marble. Then, as the lunar cycle progresses, the lighting becomes brighter.

What are the opening times?

The mosque is open year-round to visitors on the following days:

  • Sunday – Thursday: 9 AM - 10 PM (last admissions at 9.30 PM)
  • Friday: 3 PM – 10 PM

During Ramadan, these are the visiting hours:

  • Saturday – Thursday: 10 AM – 6 PM, and 9 PM – 11.30 PM
  • Friday: 2 PM – 6 PM, and 9 PM – 11.30 PM

When is the best time to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?

You can take a day trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai at any time of year. It does get very hot during summer, but inside the mosque it is cool, offering a welcome respite from the heat.

The mosque is quieter first thing in the morning, or later in the evening. Come at sunset to see this Abu Dhabi mosque at its most stunning.

Travel tips

  • Day tours to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from Dubai are popular and do sell out. So, make sure you book your tickets online before your visit to avoid disappointment.
  • Dress modestly. Women should cover their heads with a scarf, and everyone should wear loose-fitting clothing that conceals bare skin.
  • You will need to remove your shoes before entering the mosque – make this easier by wearing sandals.
  • Photography and videos are permitted for personal use, so make sure those camera batteries are charged!
  • Don’t take any food or drink (even water) into the mosque as this is prohibited.