ABU DHABI // Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has once again been ranked by travellers as the world’s second favourite landmark, according to TripAdvisor.
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, took the top spot in the Top 25 Landmarks — World category.
“Achieving second place, two years in a row, as one of most significant architectural monuments in the world, culminates the tremendous efforts and exceptional services the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque offers to visitors from all walks of life,” said Ahmed Al Za’abi, deputy minister for presidential affairs and chairman of the board of trustees of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
TripAdvisor, the travel planning and booking website, announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice awards for Landmarks honouring 706 landmarks in 82 countries last week. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for landmarks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.
The Grand Mosque surpassed such world-renowned landmarks as St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (4th), the Taj Mahal in India (5th), Peru’s Machu Picchu (8th), the Eiffel Tower (13th) and the Sydney Opera House (25th). Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was also named among the Top 25 landmarks in the world, ranking No 22. With more than 20,660 reviews, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque also takes first place in TripAdvisor’s Things to Do in Abu Dhabi category. In reviews posted online, visitors described the mosque as “stunning – a modern wonder,” “peaceful,” and “beautiful.”
Last year, the mosque’s total visitors reached 5,209,801, of which 1,448,394 were worshipers, 2,807,556 visitors, and 872,070 Ramadan Iftar guests. Lectures and the Holy Quran memorisation programmes attracted 9,781 participants. The mosque also distributed about 72,000 meals to the underprivileged.