Last Sunday I had a 6 hour layover in Abu Dhabi and decided to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi at night.
I had been to the mosque before during the daytime and found it one of the best Things To Do in Abu Dhabi
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is just about 15 minutes from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. I used an Uber to get there and back. Since Uber does not charge any drop off or pick up fees it is under $10 for each one-way ride.
For US citizens (and many others) there is no visa required to enter the United Arabian Emirates – all you need is a valid passport to enter and exit.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque has the following opening hours:
There is no admission to get inside the mosque.
However the dress code is enforced – and is especially restrictive for female visitors. The south entrance has clothing for rent available – the north gate does not.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is just a few years old (it was completed in 2007) and combines several Islamic religious architecture styles:
The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco being direct influences. The dome layout and floorplan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.
Here is how the mosque presents itself after sundown.
I do feel the exterior is more striking than the interior but it is very worthwhile to see the inside as well.
I was back at the airport within 2.5 hours and felt I had plenty of time for this.