Our family had been praying to travel this summer of 2017 and we are thankful that it was granted for the most part of May including a stay to United Arab Emirates as part of the itinerary. We spent our five nights in Dubai and allotted one whole day at Abu Dhabi exploring Ferrari World and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the morning.
We were lucky to go to Ferrari World on a Sunday afternoon which is part of their weekdays (Sundays to Thursdays) and had no problem with the queuing of rides as the theme park was not very crowded. So yes like in most amusement venues, prefer to go there on weekdays and not on weekends/holidays. Just a heads-up, some riders do not follow the line and would just pop themselves to get ahead. Be more alert of who’s in front of you and who is sneaking so you can secure your spot.
As you visit the grand mosque, it is a MUST to follow a dress code while within the vicinity as there are guards who consistently approach their guests if they are not abiding to the rules. If not in proper attire, female visitors will be provided an abaya (loose over-garment, robe-like dress) but you can still explore with no abaya and still wearing your own cloth.
There are many resources telling what not to wear but not exactly what you can. Someone even told me to buy an abaya. But the mindset should just be conservative and simple, eye on what is readily available from our closet. Here’s a suggestion for ladies:
- Wear long sleeves shirts
- Cover your head with a black shawl
- Wear long, not-tight pants or slacks (must be ankle length)
- Open-toe shoes is okay but I recommend to wear flats or rubber shoes with socks as you will walk bare foot inside
For men visitors:
- Half or long-sleeve decent shirt
- Long pants
- Rubber shoes
Decorum must also be maintained, begin with these 5 reminders:
- It is a no-no for couples to show any sign of intimacy like holding hands or kissing
- Selfie is okay but stay within the areas of the mosque that are permitted and to not roam around
- Smoking and food are not allowed in the mosque area
- Out of respect to the worshippers, remain silent
- Not to touch the Holy Quran (Holy Book) and other architectural elements inside the main prayer hall
Opening hours are from 9am-10pm daily but close for tourism activities on Friday mornings. Sheikh Zayed Mosque is surely worth a visit!
Image Source for the “Dress Code”: http://www.szgmc.ae/en/plan-your-visit