DUBAI: The spectacular structure of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi has captivated the hearts of international visitors, who ranked it as the third greatest landmark in the world.
The top ten list was announced as part of TripAdvisor’s ‘Travellers Choice Awards’. This year’s awards recognised 759 landmarks across 68 countries and eight regions across the globe.
Cambodia’s AngorWat and Spain’s Plaza de Espana took in first and second place, respectively.
Angkor Wat Temple at sunset, Siem reap, Cambodia
Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain
According to TripAdvisor, a global travel and booking online platform, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is “by far the youngest world landmark” on the top ten list, adding that the mosque “holds its own against more established icons.”
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings from TripAdvisor travellers, gathered over 12 months.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi attracts visitors all year round, and in Ramadan 2019, received more than 1.4 million worshippers.
Abu Tourism said the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE, was to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilizations “and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly diverse and inspirational in its foundation.”
The mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati, who took their inspiration from Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt among other Islamic countries. The architectural marvel was also designed to hold a capacity of 40,000 worshippers and visitors when filled.
“The open-door policy invites tourists from all around the world to witness the spectacular onion-top domes, the reflective pools that engulf the courtyard and the iconic prayer hall, which not only overflows with blissful sunlight, but also houses the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, both meticulously handmade,” said Abu Dhabi Tourism.
Top 10 landmarks
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy
Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
TajMahal, Agra, India
Duomo di Milano, Milan, Italy
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary