Navigating the sprawling expanse of Abu Dhabi, one cannot miss the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s gleaming minarets and majestic domes, a beacon of spiritual elegance. However, to truly immerse oneself in its architectural brilliance and spiritual serenity, timing is key.
This article guides visitors through the Grand Mosque’s opening hours and when to visit to avoid the crowds and capture the best lighting if you are a keen photographer!
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Opening Times
Through the majority of the year( with the exception of Ramadan), the Grand Mosque is open for public viewing daily:
Saturday to Thursday:
- Open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM (last entry 9:30 PM)
- Open from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM (last entry 9:30 PM)
Note that entrance to the Grand Mosque is FREE and the free cultural tours run throughout the day, on the hour 10:00 to 8:00 PM. You do not need to take a tour and can view the mosque at your own pace if you’d prefer, but the tour is highly recommended for first timers.
Whilst entry is free, they still ask guests to register. If you want to save time on your arrival at the Grand Mosque, you can pre-register your visit details here.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Night Opening Hours
New in 2024! The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi will now be extending its opening hours overnight, with the option to take a “Sura” overnight cultural tour.
Perfectly designed for overnight stopover passengers in Abu Dhabi, the night tours are now able to be booked online, starting on the hour from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. They last about 45 minutes and include a multimedia guide device.
- NB these tours come with a pre-paid charge of AED 20 and a max group size of 20 people.
So, although the mosque is now open 24/7, you can’t just show up after 9:30 PM at night unless you’re on a designated tour or coming to worship.
Ramadan Opening Times for the Grand Mosque
Opening times over Ramadan have varied over the years; these were the opening hours for the Grand Moqsue over Ramadan 1444 (2023), which we expect will be the same in March/April 2024 (estimated dates for Ramadan are 10 March to 11 April 2024, subject to moon sighting)
- Saturday to Thursday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM & 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM
- Fridays: 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM & 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM
NB, during the last 10 days of Ramadan, Laylatul Qadr, the Grand Mosque does not reopen for the evening session. The free cultural tours will run on a reduced schedule.
Opening Hours at Wahat Al Karama
Whilst not a part of the Grand Mosque complex, the adjacent memorial Wahat Al Karama is a hot spot with photographers seeking some of the best photos of the Grand Mosque over the reflective pond.
The Plaza area is open 24 hours a day, whilst the visitor centre operates daily from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
When to Visit the Grand Mosque Without Crowds
This is a tough request, as you can imagine, the city’s most popular attraction is always bustling with tourists wanting to capture a glimpse of the beautiful building.
You will find far fewer crowds if you visit in the summer months, and aim to arrive before opening time, with your registration to visit already completed. If you move quickly (not running!), you can get to the inner courtyard before the hoards arrive.
Equally, if you have the patience to wait until after golden hour and past twilight, you will find the crowds thin out in the latter part of the evening.
Most tour buses are found from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, so it’s best to try to work around this.
More Abu Dhabi Cultural Attractions
If you have found this guide to the Grand Mosque helpful, you may also like to check out our detailed visitor attraction guides for:
- Visiting the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2024
- Plan Your Trip to Qasr Al Watan (The Presidential Palace)
- What to expect at the Founders Memorial on the Abu Dhabi Corniche
- Take a step back in time with a self-guided tour of the old fort at Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi’s birthplace.
Information correct as of our last update in January 2024. Timings can change so we suggest checking on the szgmc.gov.ae website before your visit
Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page; it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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